Energy Minister Greg Rickford says the province is moving quickly to stop a power outage over the holidays.

"Since they've already served notice to strike, the legislation is meant to put a stop to the strike," he said yesterday.

Power workers have been without a contract since the end of March. There is still hope an agreement can be reached between the union and Ontario Power Generation. However, the legislation tabled yesterday is expected to send the labour dispute to arbitration before the end of the week.

Rickford says a key issue is the use of term employees at one of the nuclear plants in southern Ontario. Hydro workers voted to strike last week.

The opposition NDP are looking to delay the legislation. Party leader Andrea Horwath says the provincial government hasn't tried hard enough to resolve the labour dispute, before introducing legislation. Still, she acknowledged the majority Tory government is expected to pass their bill Thursday, preventing the service interruptions.

If there are delays, preparations for a hydro stoppage could begin Friday, but at this point the minister was pleased to see all union members have stayed on the job to this point.

For more information:

Ontario takes immediate action to protect electricity supply

Rickford to tackle hydro workers


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