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CUPE: Hydro One is a “vital asset” the government has “no mandate” to sell

June 14, 2017

Louis Century and Steven Shrybman try to stop the privatization of Hydro One

CUPE has sued the premier of Ontario and two cabinet ministers in an attempt to stop the sale of Hydro One.  CUPE maintains that the government acted improperly and was in a conflict of interest when it held political fundraisers in which cabinet ministers mingled with investment bankers who were hoping to win lucrative contracts to handle the share offerings should Hydro One be sold. In CUPE’s view, Hydro One is a “vital asset” the government has “no mandate” to sell.

On Monday, the government brought a motion to have the lawsuit thrown out on the basis that it is frivolous and vexatious and does not disclose a reasonable cause of action.

The Toronto Star reported on the hearing today.

Acting for the union, lawyer Louis Century argued the government is “proposing a radical extension of Crown immunity” that will not serve citizens well.”

He urged [the judge] to allow the case to trial so evidence can be presented to back the CUPE claim that the government “knowingly structured” the share sale to reward investors and the Ontario Liberal Party over electricity ratepayers.

Also representing the union, lawyer Steven Shrybman pointed to a Liberal fundraiser held just weeks after the initial public offering of Hydro One shares attended by major players in the investment industry.

“It’s really simple to infer there’s a legitimate question about the motives of the two ministers,” Shrybman said, calling the share sale “part of a fundraising scheme for a political party.”

You can read the whole story here.


Louis Century, Steven Shrybman

Practice Areas

Public Interest Litigation