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Kingston-area dairy farmer among the plaintiffs in Hydro One lawsuit

CUPE is suing Premier Wynne and two of her ministers over the sale of Hydro One shares

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) filed a misfeasance (the wrongful performance of a normally lawful act) lawsuit against Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Finance Charles Sousa and Minister of Energy Glenn Thibeault over the sale of Hydro One shares.

Among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit is Dianne Dowling, a dairy farmer and Kingston-area president with the National Farmers Union.

Dowling said the sale of Hydro One shares showed no consideration for people outside of urban centres.

Dianne Dowling
Photo: NFU

“As dairy farmers, we depend on hydro to run our milking equipment, keep the milk cold, heat the hot water for sanitation, operate feeding equipment, power tools used for repairs and maintenance, and run the lights. Rising hydro rates create one more squeeze we just can’t afford,” Dowling said in a December 7 release on CUPE’s website. “The Premier and her government were elected to represent all of Ontario, but for those of us in rural communities and those of us who make a living feeding those in cities, it seems like no consideration was given to the impact privatizing hydro would have on our way of life.”

The lawsuit’s filing comes after CUPE issued a notice of intent in September. At the time, the organization said it filed the lawsuit to prevent any more shares from being sold off.

“We had hoped that the Premier and her Ministers would finally decide to do what is right for the people of Ontario and commit to stopping any future sale of shares in Hydro One,” said Fred Hahn, president of CUPE Ontario and one of the plaintiffs in the case, in the December release. “In the absence of any response, we have no choice but to proceed with our lawsuit and look to the courts to hold them to account for their decisions that have caused harm to the people and the province.”

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