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Time to Fix Hydro ‘Mistake’

  • Shlabotnik (580 posts)
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    Time to Fix Hydro ‘Mistake’

    On 19 November 2016, Premier Kathleen Wynne said she made a “mistake on Hydro” and took “responsibility for it.” But it wasn’t just an accident that Hydro rates skyrocketed. Rates shot through the roof because they were structured that way through Provincial Government legislation. In actual fact, all three Provincial parties bear responsibility for the Hydro “mistake.”

    It’s worth reviewing that history.

    Shortly after the Mike Harris Conservatives took power in 1995, they commissioned an advisory committee to report on Hydro in Ontario. The report, A Framework for Competition: The Report of the Advisory Committee on Competition in Ontario’s Electricity System to the Ontario Minister of Environment and Energy, recommended breaking up the public monopoly and opening Hydro up to competition from private companies. Lorne Richmond from the law firm Sack, Goldblatt and Mitchell’s in-depth analysis of the Advisory report succinctly summarized it: “It looks like just a way to drag profit out of the public system.”

    1998: End of Public, Non-Profit Hydro ..Snip……

    ……Snip.. How to Fix the ‘Mistake’
    What needs to be done to fix Ontario’s electricity system and economy – it won’t be easy:

    • All privatization, mergers and the sale of Hydro One must immediately stop. (European countries like Germany are buying back their utilities. We must make a plan to buy back our Public utilities).
    • Deregulation didn’t work. Period. The IESO electricity market must be closed and deregulation legislation must be repealed.
    • Rates must be regulated. “Time of use” rates must be scrapped and replaced with a single rate. (Smart Meters can still be used for a single rate).
    • The entire Ontario Energy Board must be replaced and restructured to be a real public and democratic watchdog with real teeth so that it acts in the public interest not for the private few. A review should be conducted on the OEB’s decisions on delivery and distribution charges and some of the more glaring conflicts of interest.
    • We need green power. But in order for green power to be effective, conservation must be first. The planet is in trouble. Deregulation and private, for-profit power is never going to do what needs to be done. It is ten times cheaper to use less power than build new generation of any kind. Private electricity producers, green or conventional, are however not in the business of selling less power. There have been no real conservation measures under deregulation.
    • In order for Green power such as wind and solar to be successful, it must be owned locally, cooperatively and benefit the local community, not profit driven multinational corporations. The private sector does its job of making and manufacturing all the things we need for a Hydro system, wire, transformers, switches, poles connectors, relays etc. But – driven by their commitment to maximize profits for their shareholders – they do a terrible job of acting in the public interest. That’s the dividing line between public and private in the hydro industry.
    • Those long term agreements for private wind and solar power will have to be dealt with. This will be one of the most difficult issues. They will sue under NAFTA (As some of us predicted in 2002).
    • Make a plan and rebuild our public utilities. Ontario’s businesses, jobs for youth, the environment and the economy depend on that to happen. Returning these levers of control to local and provincial governments is critical.

    Obviously a heavily snipped article from: http://socialistproject.ca/bullet/1372.php ,but its actually a good history of how we got to where we are. I’m bookmarking this one for reference.

    Coldmountaintrail, ryanvice, FanBoy and 2 othersMom Cat, alcina like this
    ~ All Good things are Wild and Free ~

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  • ryanvice (14 posts)
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    1. Great read!

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