Here is an analysis, published in today’s edition of the National Post, of powers the Ontario government is granting itself through Bill 135 to order energy and water use disclosure.
The most poisonous elements of Bill 135 amend Section 7 to the Green Energy and Gang-green Economy Act.
Another element of Bill 135 is the government’s intention to seize total control over energy planning and much greater control than it already has over rate making. Here is an analysis of Bill 135 by highly regarded energy lawyer George Vegh focused on the impacts the new legislation will have on the IESO and OEB.
I suggest that the disclosure issues are the central importance of the Act. I’d most appreciate counter arguments, but it seems to me that all the law is doing with respect to planning and rates is codifying current practice. The IESO and OEB were puppet agencies prior to Bill 135. Again, evidence to the contrary is invited.
Agency independence rises and falls. Agencies come and go. But state surveillance powers often work as a ratchet. Unwinding the evils of Bill 135 might prove difficult after the bureaucrats start operationalizing it.
I have been disappointed with the failure of the opposition parties so far to challenge the new threats to privacy arising from the vast new surveillance powers the government is granting itself. In the Hansard of the debate on the Bill Monday, there is lots of attention to the Hydro One sale, ice cream, Caledonia, wind turbines, the FAO, one MPP opining that the time of use prices don’t include Global Adjustment, fire wood, and anywhere else the opposition might think to wander aimlessly. There was one mentioned of privacy, but without any reference to the legislation. One question on the Bill was asked Tuesday, but addressed only the agency powers.
Where is the Information and Privacy Commissioner? Where is the Canadian Civil Liberties Association?
The NDP enjoys support from the USW/United Steel Workers. USW directly benefits from the steel infrastructure used in wind and solar projects. NDP will support USW interests in Ontario energy policies.
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