The Council of Canadians is Canada’s largest citizens’ organization, with members and chapters across the country. The general public has an expectation that an organisation of this calibre will present well thought out and researched opinion on matters of public policy.
Unfortunately I believe that this is not the case in regards to a recent email they sent out to the newspapers regarding the proposed Hydro Merger.
Earlier this week, I had several email conversations with Dave Sills, Co-Chair of the Guelph Chapter on this matter; I really appreciated his observations and frank discussion with me. Given that the issues raised by the Council of Canadians were vigorously explored in the business case I referred him to Art Stokman at Hydro to set up a meeting:
If the Council of Canadians haven’t already done so, you should be aware that your organisation can schedule a meeting with Guelph Hydro to personally discuss all of the concerns you have raised. Your issues have been raised during the various meetings we have had with Hydro and they will be able to address your concerns in detail.
Given the complexity of the issues and the significant impact of this decision the management of Guelph Hydro have maintained an open door policy to meet with the community to answer questions regarding the merger business case.
To date numerous groups have taken Hydro staff up on this offer including, the Guelph Developers Association, the Chamber of Commerce, Friends of Guelph, as well as several independent industry leaders and individuals.
By contrast, the Council of Canadians didn’t bother to seek answers to their concerns about the proposed merger before condemning the idea.
Their shopping list of concerns appears significant, but each of them has been vigorously explored by Hydro in reaching their recommendation. This doesn’t necessarily mean that if the Council of Canadians had sought out answers to their questions that they would have agreed with Hydro`s conclusions – however by reaching a conclusion without asking leaves me wondering that perhaps the Council of Canadians simply didn’t want to hear the answers.