Fact Check: McFadyen can't keep his story straight on privatizing hydro in Ontario
This morning on CJOB, when Hugh McFadyen was asked about his work for former Ontario PC Premier Mike Harris, he claimed: “I didn’t do anything with Mike Harris directly.” (CJOB, Sept. 29, 2011).
This contradicts Mr. McFadyen’s previous claim on his own website that he provided “strategic counsel to several leaders including the offices of Ontario Premier Mike Harris and Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm.” (Hugh McFadyen campaign website, November 2005)
In an apparent effort to keep his stories straight Mr. McFadyen went on to acknowledge he did provide advice on privatizing hydro in Ontario: “I was involved with a firm that provided some advice to Hydro One which is the Ontario transmission company. At the time the Harris government was looking at the possibility of privatizing that company and ultimately the decision was made to not privatize it and it remains publicly owned company” (CJOB, Sept. 29, 2011).
Unfortunately, Mr. McFadyen’s new story doesn’t match the facts. On December 12, 2001, Mike Harris announced his decision to privatize Hydro One, touting it as “the largest privatization ever in Canadian history” (“Hydro One to be sold,” CBC World Report, Dec. 13, 2001). The Ontario PC government did eventually back down on the hydro privatization, but only after massive public outcry and protest.
Mr. McFadyen is trying so hard to cover his tracks on privatizing hydro in Ontario that he can’t even keep his stories straight. The facts are, he advised Mike Harris on hydro privatization in Ontario and Harris acted on that advice by announcing his decision to proceed with the largest privatization in Canadian history. Fortunately, the people of Ontario stopped them.