Oshawa City Council, supported by the gang of eight—Nancy Diamond, John Henry, Nester Pidwerbecki, Amy England, John Aker, Bob Chapman, Doug Sanders (the 8th, Roger Bouma has withdrawn from the election) have carried on in-camera private discussions to sell Oshawa Public Utilities.
If this group gets re-elected, their first order of business early in the new term will be to complete the sale in hopes that voters will forget about it at the next election four years into the future. Politicians always make unpopular decisions shortly after elections.
All of the discussions and agreements documented in the press reports have been continually denied by the gang of eight listed above.
So what would be the effect of the city selling the PUC?
The immediate impact would be that Oshawa hydro rates would be greatly increased. The cost of electricity by Hydro One residential customers in Courtice is $37 per month for 800 KWH, the average use by residential customers. Oshawa PUC customers currently pay approximately half that amount, or $19 for the same 800 KWH.
Besides paying more for our electricity, the city would also lose approximately $2M in annual dividends which would have to be made up via increased residential taxes on top of our already highest taxes in the nation.
So why would the 8 city politicians named above discuss selling our important revenue producing asset that provides us with hydro rates half those of our neighbour and that $2M annual dividend to ease our tax rates?
Simple—the city has a huge $100M debt, bigger than the combined debts of all other Durham Municipalities, that they’d like to get rid of.
How you might ask? Simple! They’ll used the PUC proceeds to pay off the city debt and transfer it to your pocket through increased power rates.
Now wouldn’t it be great if you could spend like a drunken sailor and then simply get rid of the debt by passing it off to someone else so you could start your spending spree all over again?
That’s just another reason why we need more accountable and responsive ward politicians that listen to you….not the present general vote politicians who believe that the huge 62 name general vote ballot you’ll confront next week that allows incumbents to hide in the weeds and get them re-elected based on their name recognition only, and escape defeat regardless of their often shameful and irresponsible council performance.