Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 133: Whitewashing the CityPlace Blackouts

In Part 132 of this series, I reported on the two root causes of the CityPlace blackouts. Contrary to Toronto Hydro’s claims, the blackouts were not caused by aging infrastructure but by overloaded infrastructure. Toronto Hydro first neglected to plan for and provide sufficient feeder capacity to serve CityPlace and then management negligently declined to follow emergency repair advice of internal experts, who recommended cable replacement immediately prior to the Labour Day blackout. In this 680News interview, check out the lies Toronto Hydro relies upon to paper over the blackouts. Continue reading ‘Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 133: Whitewashing the CityPlace Blackouts’ »

Privatize Toronto Hydro

Toronto mayor John Tory presented his case for the sale of Toronto Hydro to CBC’s Matt Galloway on September 22. Every element of Mayor Tory’s argument justifying the sale is nonsense. Yet, the very weakness of the mayor’s case makes a strong argument that Toronto Hydro should be sold.

Toronto Hydro should be privatized because Toronto city council has proven itself over a long period to be utterly incapable of properly overseeing the utility. Continue reading ‘Privatize Toronto Hydro’ »

Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 132: Inside the CityPlace Blackouts

Folks following this series have seen it all before. The rash of CityPlace blackouts knocking out power to thousands of units in Toronto’s CityPlace district at the end of August and early September bear many similarities so many blackouts documented here before, such as Hurricane Sandy (October 2013), Thornecliff Park (March 2013), and Union Street (March 2014). All are examples of official negligence and neglect. The inside story of the CityPlace outages is deja vu all over again. Continue reading ‘Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 132: Inside the CityPlace Blackouts’ »

Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 131: You’re Not Supposed to Know (Update)

In Part 129 of this series, I reported on the fact that the Ontario Energy Board has not been disclosing the up to date organizational chart the agency is using. The org chart posted on the Board’s site has recently been updated although. Continue reading ‘Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 131: You’re Not Supposed to Know (Update)’ »

Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 130: Stonewalled by Guardians (Again)

Part 125 of this series featured a guest post by two retired Toronto Hydro employees, Paul Kahnert and David Grant, documenting their efforts to get action from the City’s Ombudsman, the City’s Auditor General, and the Ontario Energy Board in investigating evidence of negligence, perjury, and fraudulent claims by Toronto Hydro and its CEO Anthony Haines. Their post has been the most popular post on this site since I reported on Toronto Hydro causing (then Haines lying on TV about the cause of) the Union Street blackout in May 2014. Upon discovering parallels between their work and mine on these same concerns, Kahnert, Grant and I worked together to coax into action even one among the various official guardian agencies in Ontario with responsibilities bearing on these issues. What follows is our report on that effort with supporting attachments. The title of the piece — “There are no rules anymore” — connects to a recurring theme in this series. For example, this old post addresses the need for fixed, written rules around conflict of interest at the OEB. Continue reading ‘Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 130: Stonewalled by Guardians (Again)’ »

Open Letter to Dr. Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

Dr. Dianne Saxe
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario
Email: commissioner@eco.on.ca

Dear Dr. Saxe,

On Wednesday last week, you and I were guests on the radio show “Fight Back with Libby Znaimer” on the AM radio station CFZM Toronto. A podcast of that interview is available here. Continue reading ‘Open Letter to Dr. Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’ »

Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 129: You’re Not Supposed to Know

Are consumers able to get a fair shake from the Ontario Energy Board (OEB)? Every time anyone complains about power rates, the Ontario government leaps to its feet claiming that the OEB is protecting consumers. But, how real is that assurance?

For decades, the OEB has relied on comparisons between Enbridge and Union to assess just and reasonable gas distribution rates. With the merger of their respective parents, how will the OEB be protecting consumers? Continue reading ‘Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 129: You’re Not Supposed to Know’ »

Reality Check for Canadian Pipeline and Coal Politics

Here are two interviews addressing recent political developments surrounding Canada’s future use of fossil fuels — the Energy East Pipeline and the Trudeau government’s ambition to eliminate coal power in Canada. Continue reading ‘Reality Check for Canadian Pipeline and Coal Politics’ »