Deputation to Finance Committee on Sale of Hydro One

(This posting contains both our speaking notes, posted about 20 minutes after presentation, and the official Hansard transcript. Following our presentation, Ed Clark made a presentation to the Finance Committee and made comments to the press. His comments and my reaction to his comments are ably reported here by Antonella Artuso for Sun Media. Our bottom line is that the ON government’s plan to sell Hydro One is a shell game to grab $4 billion from electricity ratepayers.)

Madam chair and members. We are here today to address amendments to the Electricity Act contained in the budget act, Bill 91. Continue reading ‘Deputation to Finance Committee on Sale of Hydro One’ »

Donuts, Heritage, Saving the Bala Falls: Part 2

The waterfalls in the heart of Bala, where Lake Muskoka flows into the Moon River, need a lawyer to help stop impending careless, destructive hydro-power development. Join the protest. If you are planning to be in the vicinity of Muskoka over this long weekend, order doughnuts by phone today at (705) 762-3937 for the fundraiser tomorrow at the falls hosted by the much-loved Don’s Bakery to support this wonderful cause. If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, consider donating directly to


Donuts, Heritage, Saving the Bala Falls: Part 1, Guest Post by Ted Farley

Here is an update authored by Ted Farley of developments surround the plan of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and its contractor Swift River Energy Limited to imprison the beautiful waterfalls in the centre of Bala, Ontario in a concrete box in order to jack up your power rates. Continue reading ‘Donuts, Heritage, Saving the Bala Falls: Part 1, Guest Post by Ted Farley’ »

“Enough Is Enough” Is Not Enough

Electricity protesters will converge on the Ontario legislature starting at noon May 13. The protest will be an important gauge of the extent of public anger over soaring rates, particularly Hydro One’s rural rates. But, when it comes to solutions, expect more heat than light.

The protest has coalesced around a Facebook site, a petition, Google+, and a GoFundMe campaign under the banner “Enough is Enough” — all of which are lively and growing. Continue reading ‘“Enough Is Enough” Is Not Enough’ »

Wind Power FOI Appeal: “Frivolous and Vexatious”

Folks following my efforts to uncover truth behind the Ontario government’s chaotic wind schemes, including an official plan briefly explored in late 2012 to cancel six controversial wind developments to be located in vulnerable electoral ridings, might be interested in the most recent resistance reaction from Official Ontario. The bottom line from Official Ontario is that my investigation of the cancellation plan for the McLean’s Mountain Wind Farm on Manitoulin Island — which I initiated with a simple, tightly targeted Freedom of Information request almost two and a half years ago — is “frivolous and vexatious”. Continue reading ‘Wind Power FOI Appeal: “Frivolous and Vexatious”’ »

Ontario’s Power Rates Are Going Up How Much?

Over the last two weeks, there have been a dizzying swirl of announcements and reports on various aspects of Ontario electricity prices. With official Ontario working hard to keep the issues confused and impacts spread out over time, it is challenging for consumers to follow the multiple shell games going on at once. Here are a few suggestions on where to turn for information and analysis.
Continue reading ‘Ontario’s Power Rates Are Going Up How Much?’ »

Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 121: Toronto Hydro Exec Comp

Energy workers, including executives, should be paid what they are worth. In general, executive compensation in Ontario’s power system is reasonable, although overall pay scales in general within regulated and government-owned utilities are excessive. While most utility CEOs in Ontario appear to me reasonably compensated, the situation at Toronto Hydro is different.
Continue reading ‘Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 121: Toronto Hydro Exec Comp’ »

Power Extortion Part 3: Response to Ombudsman Marin’s Tweets

Over the evening of March 23, the Ontario Ombudsman, an Officer of the Provincial Legislature, addressed my analysis of his comment on Hydro One’s collection policies and practices. He published a stream of Tweeted and reTweeted ad hominems, sarcastic put-downs, name calling against me and people who supported my analysis, attacks on my integrity, and incitements to his followers to Twitter mob me. Some of his comments are recorded in Part 2 of this series. This morning, he redoubled his flaming:
Continue reading ‘Power Extortion Part 3: Response to Ombudsman Marin’s Tweets’ »

Power Extortion Part 2: Ombudsman Marin’s Review of Part 1

This evening on Twitter, Ontario Ombudsman Marin reacted to my analysis of his recent remarks on collections policies and practices at Hydro One and Hydro Ottawa.

Here is some of that direct and retweeted exchange in chronological order (note the time stamps are 3 hours behind EDT):
Continue reading ‘Power Extortion Part 2: Ombudsman Marin’s Review of Part 1’ »

Power Extortion Part 1

Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin has found Hydro One guilty of “extortion” for threatening to disconnect residential power customers in arrears. He convened a Queen’s Park press conference March 11 to demand:

“Hydro One needs to come clean and say once and for all to the public ‘we won’t disconnect you’ and stop playing these mind games with the public.”

Marin masterfully served up sound bites to the eager QP Press Gallery:

“I’ve shared the big secret with you about the threats being a bluff. I count on you to repeat it to everybody that you encounter in your newscasts so that people can chill and realize that they won’t freeze to death by the electricity being cut out.”

From every corner of the province, Marin is being hailed as a hero.

Or not.

Continue reading ‘Power Extortion Part 1’ »