An in­de­pen­dent solution to Hy­dro

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

The Ed­i­tor, No won­der elec­tric­ity pric­ing is back in the news.

Peo­ple across On­tario pay the high­est elec­tric­ity prices in Canada, if not all of North Amer­ica. This isn't sur­pris­ing, though, be­cause all one has to do is look to the politi­cians and their ad­vi­sors. This sys­temic prob­lem isn't lim­ited to just the Lib­eral Party – it’s all of the par­ties be­cause this is the fash­ion­able move to en­sure some peo­ple have their pock­ets very well lined, on the backs of On­tar­i­ans.

As soon as the re­ports “In­vest­ing in Peo­ple – Cre­at­ing a Hu­man Cap­i­tal So­ci­ety” (2004) and “Small, Ru­ral and Re­mote Com­mu­ni­ties – An Anatomy of Risk” came out (2013), we have been see­ing the fruits of gov­ern­ment, and their cronies. It's al­most like in­sider trad­ing for these peo­ple. For ex­am­ple, in para­graph 45, page 47 of the re­port “In­vest­ing” it says: “We rec­om­mend that the gov­ern­ment make the op­tion of mar­ket-based pric­ing, with peak and off-peak rates, avail­able to all elec­tric­ity con­sumers to pro­mote con­ser­va­tion and con­sump­tion shift­ing…We be­lieve that such pric­ing will also make it more eco­nom­i­cally fea­si­ble to in­vest in re­new­able gen­er­a­tion fa­cil­i­ties, such as wind, biomass, and so­lar power, in the prov­ince.”

Now we know two rea­sons why we are over-pay­ing for elec­tric­ity. There are more than these two rea­sons, though. Con­tin­u­ing in this re­port, from 1999 to 2004, “Hy­dro One has spent ap­prox­i­mately $500 mil­lion ac­quir­ing lo­cal elec­tric­ity dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies. Ar­guably, these funds would have been spent more pru­dently on im­prov­ing the trans­mis­sion grid or pay­ing down elec­tric­ity sec­tor debt.”

Then there is the con­tract be­tween the prov­ince and the Korea Con­sor­tium, which in­cludes Sam­sung and their en­ergy projects. In this con­tract it is spelt out that there is to be a “Work­ing Group” com­prised of eight mem­bers, with equal mem­ber­ship from the Korean Con­sor­tium and the Gov­ern­ment of On­tario. And what is this “Work­ing Group” to do? They are to es­tab­lish its process for con­duct­ing the busi­ness of the Work­ing Group; re­solve is­sues that arise in re­la­tion to this agree­ment, the cal­cu­la­tion of the Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Adders; rec­om­mend suit­able sites for Phase 2 and Phase 3 sub­ject to ex­ist­ing trans­mis­sion ca­pac­ity or the ex­pected ex­pan­sion of the Bulk Trans­mis­sion Sys­tem; re­view the ten­ta­tive sched­ule pre­pared by the Korean Con­sor­tium for each Phase; as­sist and fa­cil­i­tate the Korean Con­sor­tium in se­cur­ing rights of way for con­nec­tion to the Trans­mis­sion Sys­tem; es­tab­lish pri­or­i­ties among is­sues aris­ing from this Agree­ment; ne­go­ti­ate Abo­rig­i­nal con­sul­ta­tion/ en­gage­ment pro­to­cols; re­solve dis­putes be­tween the par­ties and es­ca­lat­ing dis­putes as nec­es­sary, etc.

So who is running our Min­istry of En­ergy and even our gov­ern­ment? It would seem it isn't the prov­ince of On­tario, but Korea, as it has a mo­nop­oly.

As for any of the other par­ties, they have all kinds of av­enues but just don't bother do­ing any­thing. It would seem they are very good at pay­ing lip ser­vice to the peo­ple with state­ments of “We aren't in power and they have a ma­jor­ity, so there's noth­ing we can do un­til we get elected.”

After all, when it comes to those ad­vis­ing our po­lit­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives, they all seem to be the same peo­ple say­ing the same things.

As ex­pressed by D. A. O'Sul­li­van in his Man­ual on Gov­ern­ment: “The writer has faith in the po­lit­i­cal moral­ity of our lead­ing statesmen to the ex­tent, at least, that no one of them, act­ing in an of­fi­cial or, a ju­di­cial po­si­tion as ad­vis­ers of the crown, as trustees of the con­sti­tu­tion would per­mit his judg­ment to be bi­ased by a mere party spirit, or for a tem­po­rary party tri­umph. If it be oth­er­wise in Canada, then it is time we were gov­erned with­out party, as that term is now un­der­stood.”

Maybe it's time to be done with the party sys­tem in On­tario and look to in­de­pen­dents who might ac­tu­ally rep­re­sent the peo­ple of their rid­ings, in­stead of merely try­ing to line the pock­ets of the “back-room boys” and their cronies.

El­iz­a­beth F. Mar­shall, Colling­wood, ON

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