‘What are we paying?’
Province’s fiscal watchdog asked to probe hydro deal with Quebec
Progressive Conservative finance critic Vic Fedeli says he has asked the province’s fiscal watchdog to probe Ontario’s 2016 purchase of hydro from the Quebec government.
Fedeli said he asked Financial Accountability Officer Stephen LeClair to look into the deal inked between the provinces last fall.
That agreement will see Ontario spend $70 million over seven years to buy electricity from Quebec.
Fedeli said the FAO has agreed to look at the deal and will report back in four months.
LeClair’s office said Thursday that it doesn’t publicly comment on its investigations.
Fedeli said the request is important because Ontarians still know few details about the deal.
“What are we paying? They wouldn’t disclose any details,” Fedeli said. “We already produce a surplus of power in Ontario, are we going to just be selling this power back to Quebec at a loss? That’s what it appears.”
Fedeli also said the FAO has agreed to look into any future deals the province signs with Quebec to buy hydro.
That could include a rumoured deal, details of which leaked to media this week, of Ontario buying 8 terawatts of power from Quebec.
The Liberal government says that deal was rejected by Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault in July because it would add $30 a year to the average ratepayer’s bill.
Thibeault’s spokesman, Colin Nekolaichuk, said the government welcomes the FAO’s review of the deal.
“The electricity trade agreement reached last fall with Quebec is helping to make electricity in Ontario more affordable, clean and reliable,” he said in a statement to the Toronto Sun. “The agreement is projected to reduce electricity costs in Ontario by $70 million over the life of the deal. And by offsetting reliance on peaking natural gas facilities, it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 1 million tonnes every year — a significant 25% reduction in emissions from the electricity sector.”
The electricity trade agreement reached last fall with Quebec is helping to make electricity in Ontario more affordable, clean and reliable” Colin Nekolaichuk, spokesman for Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault
Premier Kathleen Wynne and Quebec counterpart Philippe Couillard shake hands after the signing of an energy agreement in Montreal in December. Inset, Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibault.
STEPHEN LeCLAIR Asked to look into it
VIC FEDELI Wants answers