An independent solution to Hydro
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