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The pending sale of PDI to Ontario Hydro is becoming an election issue in Peterborough

Click to play video: 'Will the sale of PDI to Hydro One become an election issue?' Will the sale of PDI to Hydro One become an election issue?
The city of Peterborough has agreed to sell the local electrical distribution system to Hydro One and some candidates for city council are findiing the electorate are not having it – Aug 3, 2018

The sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc. to Hydro One for $105 million is adding a new dimension to the upcoming municipal election, with current members of council being quizzed on the doorstep about how they voted on the original proposal to sell PDI.

The City of Peterborough announced the sale this week. The decision to sell the electrical distribution utility was made by city council almost two years ago.

“Having spoken to a couple of councillors who have been out there, they’ve been asked that question: ‘Did you vote for PDI or did you not?” says Gary Balwin, running for a seat in Ashburnham Ward. “They give a response at the door, and they either get a favourable response at the door or they do not.”

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The sale requires the approval of the Ontario Energy Board. That process is expected to take several months. The municipal election, meanwhile, is set for Oct. 22.

Diane Therrien, a candidate for mayor, says voters are indeed interested in the proposed sale.

“I’ve been knocking on doors and people have been talking about it,” she said. “I’m not the person or candidate to run a one-issue election. That’s not how I do things. But it is something I’m repeatedly hearing about at the door.”

Click to play video: 'PDI sold to Hydro One for $105 million' PDI sold to Hydro One for $105 million
PDI sold to Hydro One for $105 million – Aug 1, 2018

WATCH: PDI sold to Hydro One for $105 million

John Stephenson, president and CEO of Peterborough Utilities, says the PDI sale is necessary and should reduce rates for consumers.

“There are too many utilities in Ontario,” he said. “There’s been, over the past five or six years, through different government mandates, the recognition that consolidation in the industry would be very beneficial for the customer. At the end of the day, this is about getting rates down for the customer.”

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