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Pissedoff





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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:55 am    Post subject: Wynne sued over Hydro One sale Reply with quote

http://www.lfpress.com/2016/12.....o-one-sale

TORONTO - Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and two of her senior ministers are alleged to have committed “misfeasance in public office” when they sold off Hydro One shares and used the public sale to enrich the Liberal Party, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.
RCO





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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Union launches suit against Wynne, ministers over Hydro One sale


Ainslie Cruickshank

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016



The Canadian Union of Public Employees has officially filed a lawsuit against Premier Kathleen Wynne and two of her cabinet ministers over the sale of Hydro One.

“Our goal in filing this suit is to stop the government from selling more of this vital asset before it is too late,” said Fred Hahn, president of CUPE Ontario.

“The minute we lose majority control, decisions about the electrical system will be controlled by a corporate board whose sole interest is raising profit and not in the interests of the people. If this is allowed to happen the negative impacts will be felt for generations to come.”

CUPE announced its intention to file a lawsuit over the controversial sale of the public utility in September. It officially filed its statement of claim on Tuesday, joined by two more plaintiffs — Dianne Dowling, the Kingston-area president of the National Farmers Union, and John Clarke, an organizer with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.

The government now has to file a statement of defence or notice of intent to defend within 20 days of the claim filing.

The misfeasance suit against Wynne, former Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli and Finance Minister Charles Sousa is based on CUPE’s claim that the government’s move to privatize Hydro One was an improper use of its authority.

The Liberal government had no political mandate for the sale of Hydro One, Hahn said.

“We also know the premier and her government ministers have held exclusive fundraising events to raise money for the Ontario Liberal party and attendance at these exclusive events, sometimes up to $10,000 a ticket, included the banks that have made nearly $60 million from the privatization of Hydro One so far.”

The issue will be proving there was improper contact and resulting damages, said Darrell Brown, a partner with Goldblatt Partners and the lawyer representing CUPE in the lawsuit.

“The integrity commissioner has already looked into the basis of the claim and has found no wrong doing,” Attorney General Yasir Naqvi told reporters following question period.

The lawsuit, however, will provide a broader scope to review the context of the sale, said Brown.

Naqvi said lawyers in the Ministry of the Attorney General are reviewing the statement of claim and will defend the government.

He noted the government plans to use the revenues from the sale of Hydro One to fund infrastructure projects throughout the province.

Brown argues however there won’t be much revenue available for infrastructure projects.

He said the $3.8 billion the province earned on the sale of 30 per cent of Hydro One is “a wash” because the government paid $2.6 billion for additional Hydro One shares to essentially cover the utility’s tax liability triggered by the sale, and will lose $1.2 billion in potential tax revenue over the next five years from Hydro One because of tax benefits it will receive for asset depreciation – a benefit available to all private companies.


While CUPE hasn’t filed for an injunction to prevent any further sale of Hydro One shares, Hahn said he hopes the government won’t proceed until the case is concluded.

That’s something PC Leader Patrick Brown wants too.

“I hope the premier will put a pause on the fire sale, there’s obviously a chorus of opposition against it and some pretty substantial reasons not to proceed,” he said.

“It makes a lot of sense that they are upset, they’re frustrated and they want to bring a legal action to bring attention to this situation,” said NDP Deputy Leader Jagmeet Singh.

“The government’s literally sold off a public asset without any sort of mandate on this issue, they didn’t campaign on it, they didn’t ask people.”

http://ipolitics.ca/2016/12/07.....-one-sale/
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the logic of the unions, that is, our government is in embarked upon a policy that will end with us losing control of our power rates.

But is there a lawsuit there? They are the government. They sign the paychecks of the judges. This is the same government that gave their former attorney-general, Michael Bryant, a pass on his road rage homicide. Don't bet on the integrity of judges.

I don't see a lot of chances for success for this lot. They don't get to speak for "the People" and the court might say that, as long as their members keep their jobs, they have no bitch. And if they won, what would the settlement be? Would the union take over management of Hydro-One?
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( Ontario government is going to try and get the lawsuit thrown out of court )


February 1, 2017 5:35 pm Updated: February 1, 2017 5:37 pm

Ontario government wants CUPE’s lawsuit on partial sale of Hydro One dismissed


By Staff The Canadian Press



TORONTO – The Ontario government is trying to get a lawsuit over the partial sale of Hydro One thrown out of court.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees’ lawsuit is aimed at stopping the sale of any more shares in the giant electricity transmission utility – about 30 per cent has been sold and the government plans to sell another 30 per cent of the formerly public utility.


A spokesman for the energy minister says the government has given CUPE notice that it will be filing a motion to strike the case.


CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn says avoiding a trial is another way the government is trying to avoid public scrutiny of the privatization.

But the government’s position is that because the Integrity Commissioner already addressed the matter, the lawsuit is an abuse of process.

CUPE alleges the Liberals inappropriately mixed government and party business by holding fundraisers with cabinet ministers, including one $7,500-a-ticket event with Sousa and Chiarelli that was attended by bankers who profited from the privatization of Hydro One.

http://globalnews.ca/news/3220.....dismissed/
RCO





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Posts: 6732
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lawsuit adds new wrinkles to Kathleen Wynne’s foolhardy Hydro One privatization scheme: Walkom


Ontario's Liberal government is unwisely dismissive of a lawsuit that makes political sense.

People gather outside the MaRS building in Toronto protesting the privatization of Hydro One in May. "Of all the maladroit moves Wynne has made as premier, privatizing Hydro One is the worst," writes Thomas Walkom.



By Thomas WalkomNational Affairs Columnist

Mon., Feb. 6, 2017


Kathleen Wynne is trying to shut down a lawsuit challenging her plans to privatize Hydro One. The Ontario premier would be wiser to simply abandon her foolhardy scheme altogether.

Of all the maladroit moves Wynne has made as premier, privatizing Hydro One is the worst. It creates no economic benefit for the province. Nor does it help the government’s finances.

In fact, as the Financial Accountability Officer and others have pointed out, the loss of lucrative Hydro One dividends will ultimately cost the provincial treasury more than it gains.

Politically, the sale of 60 per cent of Ontario’s public electricity transmission monopoly to private interests can only remind voters of how badly the hydro file has been botched.

There is no upside.


Given all of this it is puzzling the government has been so dismissive of a civil lawsuit launched by the Canadian Union of Public Employees that accuses the government of wrongfully exercising its lawful authority and calls for the gradual privatization of Hydro One to be stopped.

Instead of countering the union’s legal case with facts, the Wynne government has asked the courts to dismiss it out of hand.

The government’s key argument is that the courts have no business second-guessing lawful ministerial actions. The government also insists that if ministers have acted contrary to the Members’ Integrity Act, as the lawsuit alleges, then any remedy lies solely with their fellow legislators — not with judges.

Whether or not that claim is valid, it is odd to see a government so down in the polls trumpeting the sanctity of parliamentary privilege.

To read the plaintiffs’ statement of claim is to relive the nuttiness that surrounded the Wynne government’s about face on Hydro One.

First, the Liberals said they had no intention of privatizing the utility. A blue-ribbon advisory panel tasked with looking into government assets, agreed.

Then the Liberals changed their minds and said they would sell 60 per cent of Hydro One, effectively transforming it into a private monopoly. The blue ribbon panel obligingly agreed to that as well.

In December 2015, following the sale of the first chunk of Hydro One shares, the Liberal Party held an “appreciation” event to which they invited all those who had profited from the privatization. The 24 who showed up demonstrated their appreciation by donating $7,500 each to the Liberals.

Integrity Commissioner David Wake later ruled this was just fine, although he did hint that it might have looked bad.

Meanwhile, a host of reports pointed out that the Hydro One sell-off was a terrible deal for Ontario financially. Yes, it did free up $4 billion that the Liberals promised to spend on infrastructure.

But the loss of Hydro One dividends cost them more.

In addition to recounting old history, the plaintiffs make two interesting allegations. First they say the government cost taxpayers an extra $2.6 billion when it covered, on behalf of the future private owners of Hydro One, a key tax liability owed by the utility.

The details are complicated. But essentially, says the statement of claim, the government forgave a $2.6 billion tax bill owed it by Hydro One’s new private owners.

Second, the plaintiffs say that in allocating the proceeds of the sale, the government cost business and industrial electricity users an additional $1.2 billion in so-called debt retirement charges that they should not have had to pay.

The government hasn’t responded to any of these charges substantively. In effect it has said to both the courts and the plaintiffs: This is none of your business.

In legal circles such a strategy is probably clever. In politics it is not.

The Wynne government might want to remember that Hydro One is a huge, festering political sore — particularly in the countryside.

It also might want to remember that judges are hard to predict. In April 2002, another Ontario judge ruled that another attempt to privatize Hydro One — this time by a Conservative government — was illegal.

That ruling came as a surprise to most. Its legal effect was brief (the government just changed the law). But the political effect was enormous.

Already under attack for their handling of electricity, the Conservatives quickly backed away from plans to privatize Hydro One. They lost the next election anyway.

Oh yes. I almost forgot. CUPE, the union backstopping the current lawsuit was one of the plaintiffs in that 2002 case as well. Their lawyer, then as now, was public interest litigator Steven Shrybman.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/02/06/lawsuit-adds-new-wrinkles-to-kathleen-wynnes-foolhardy-hydro-one-privatization-scheme-walkom.html
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Wynne sued over Hydro One sale

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