WHEN FORD FIRED MAYO, CRIT­ICS DIS­MISSED HIS AC­TION AS A PO­LIT­I­CAL STUNT.

FRANCE’S YEL­LOW VESTS AND THE TARSANDS OF AL­BERTA MAN RE­CALLS ‘UN­LAW­FUL’ AR­REST BY OF­FI­CER WOUNDED IN COP-ON-COP SHOOT­ING RE­AC­TIVE MAR­KET­ING AP­PROACH TO MAR­I­JUANA IN­DUS­TRY IS DAN­GER­OUS

StarMetro Toronto - - BIG OPINIONS - Rick Sa­lutin Rosie Di­manno Ti­mothy Dewhirst

EDI­TO­RIAL INQUIRIES crit­ics — in­clud­ing me — dis­missed his ac­tion as a po­lit­i­cal stunt.

And in some ways it was that. But it was also a sig­nal that On­tario’s gov­ern­ment would con­tinue to take an ac­tive in­ter­est in a com­pany that holds a mo­nop­oly over elec­tric­ity trans­mis­sion in this prov­ince.

Per­haps the gov­ern­ment will use that in­ter­est to rein in the util­ity’s ob­ses­sion with be­com­ing a North Amer­i­can en­ergy be­he­moth.

In­deed, while U.S. reg­u­la­tors delved into the ques­tion of whether the pro­posed merger with Avista would serve Amer­i­can in­ter­ests, few asked what the deal would do for On­tario rate-pay­ers.

Tak­ing over a com­pany that pro­vides elec­tric­ity and nat­u­ral gas to Ore­gon, Idaho, Wash­ing­ton, Alaska and Mon­tana might work to the ben­e­fit of Hy­dro One share­hold­ers (in­clud­ing the On­tario gov­ern­ment), but it would do noth­ing to im­prove the elec­tric­ity trans­mis­sion and dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tems Hy­dro One owns in On­tario. Nor would it re­duce the steep rates On­tar­i­ans pay.

In fact, ac­qui­si­tions like the Avista deal risk shift­ing Hy­dro One’s fo­cus from On­tario to the much more lu­cra­tive Amer­i­can mar­ket.

But that, of course, was al­ways the aim be­hind the ill-fated de­ci­sion to pri­va­tize Hy­dro One — a de­ci­sion that other­wise made no eco­nomic sense.

THES­TAR.COM/OPIN­IONS

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