Follow the money!
I don’t spend a lot of time on Ontario, but having recently spent some time in Toronto and Ottawa, I want to discuss two hot button energy issues in your province: The sale of Hydro One, and the spending spree at OPG (Ontario Power Generation)
First, I think it’s fair to say Ontario has a spending problem.. or spending PROBLEMS. Political views aside, many projects the province hopes to complete needed funding (earmarked Infrastructure projects such as LRT), and they magically FOUND that funding, by selling the provinces stake in Hydro One, a majority stake for that matter, 53%.
The debate on Crown Corporations
Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government decided so sell the 53% stake in Hydro One, resulting in a $9.2 billion influx to the provinces bottom line according to the province.
Ontario’s books look better now of course, but at what cost: The Financial Accountability Office of Ontario stated the provincial treasury will lose $1.1 billion in dividends alone for Hydro One this YEAR! (Yikes.) But the party in charge doesn’t need to talk about “lost opportunities”, they have almost $10 billion in found cash! (Not bad!)
“It was all about making the books look good for the election,” said New Democrat MPP Peter Tabuns, (Hmm, perhaps! By the way the party in power are the Liberals, and there’s an election this year! Extra cash for community projects never hurts during an election year, AM-I-RIGHT!?)
So, the debate will continue on what to do with Crown Corps,– see you all in the comment section!
Spending an Issue for Ontario Power Generation
As my readers know, I try and highlight stories that don’t get a lot of attention, and for this one I’m not sure why there isn’t a lot of fan-fare…
The Ontario Energy Board ordered the cuts last month to the top level at Ontario Power Generation, the company that generates about 50% of the provinces electricity.
What exactly does the OEB have a problem with at Ontario Power Gen? Well, in the statement, Ontario Power Generation must cut $500 million over the next five years from its nuclear operations budget. Why? Because the province’s energy regulator took issue with compensation, corporate and administrative costs, including “excessive” pension and benefit levels. (Yikes!)
“The OEB finds that OPG’s overall pension and benefits costs are clearly excessive … (Yikes x 2!)
“It would not be reasonable, in the OEB’s view, to require ratepayers to pay these excessive costs.” (Yikes x 3!)
A brief history — In May 2016, Ontario Power Generation asked for $16.8 billion from the board for a period between 2017 and 2021 — a request that would ultimately lead to an increase in rates. (Shocking that this would cause some investigation by the province, but hey, good on you Ontario for digging into it! )
Time to stand up!
Ontario Power Generation wanted to give excessive pensions and benefits to it’s higher-ups, and pass the costs on to Ontario Rate-Payers! (Congratulations Ontario! You can continue to complain about high rates and seemingly irrelevant rate hikes and this time I may actually agree with you! )
My friends and family members in Ontario, I hear you!
You’re paying sky-high electricity rates:
Ontario – On-peak rate 15.7 cents/kWh
For comparison, Alberta – 4.83 cents/kWh according to Direct Energy (5.1 cents/kWh inside Edmonton)
It also seems your utility operators are being used either as Political pawns, or buckets full of cash… at your expense!
This is also a factor as to why renewable and NEW sources are so expensive to implement!
Join the conversation and use your voice.
That’s our Travel Tuesday
Don’t leave the lights on!