Given the thoroughness of the Board’s initial review and decision, the utility faces a monumental challenge to even pass the preliminary hurdle, let alone a complete review.
Grandstanding by management at Tony’s Hydro puts the regulator in an awkward spot. If the OEB refuses to hold the full review, the utility might be accused it of bias. If the Board accepts the appeal, it may be criticized by consumers for caving to the utility’s pressure tactics.
The OEB Act allows the utility to appeal the original decision to the Divisional Court. Since the original decision is clearly within the OEB’s jurisdiction, and manifestly within its area of expertise, an appeal to the Divisional Court would almost certainly fail.
It is time for the shareholder’s representatives at City Hall to tell the utility to stop bullying consumers, comply with the regulator’s original decision, and focus on improving the utility’s poor performance. Extraordinary capital requirements, such as for electrical infrastructure for the Pan Am games, ought to be funded through the targeted applications the Board’s rules allow, rather than by appealing the Board’s recent decision.
Sadly, there is no sign yet from City Hall that our elected representatives recognize grave problems the utility has created for itself and the management changes that must be made to bring stability and discipline to the utility starting with a replacement for CEO Anthony Haines.
In other news, the utility’s management has called an emergency meeting of all managers to be held at North York Civic Centre tomorrow morning at 8 am.
Post Script: November 16, 2012
During the OEB proceeding EB-2012-0064 Toronto Hydro withdrew this appeal.