The privatization of Hydro One


tay
#1
and the circus of beer.........






Every major Radio, TV and Newspaper is debating the change in Beer sales in Ontario and yet the fact that 60% of Hydro will be sold to Private Companies seems to be a secondary issue........






Ontario will hike beer tax, sell majority of Hydro One to fund infrastructure - Toronto | Globalnews.ca (external - login to view)
 
Walter
#2
Gubmint should sell all that shjt.
 
Liberalman
+2
#3
Easy access to beer makes the Hydro rate increases trivial
 
petros
#4
 
tay
#5
Thomas Walkom calls out (link is external) the Ontario Libs for trying to use a sideshow of beer sales to distract from the reckless selloff of Hydro One.




Think of it as beer and circuses.


Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario government is showcasing plans to change the way in which beer is sold in the province.



It’s talking of letting some supermarkets sell six-packs. It’s changing the way in which the privately owned Beer Store operates. It is even setting up a beer ombudsman to hear complaints from drinkers.



Most media attention is focused on this because — hey, it’s beer.




Meanwhile, as the public digests the bold idea of supermarkets selling six-packs, the Liberal government is quietly forging ahead with the far more serious part of its agenda — privatizing Hydro One.


That’s the Crown corporation that transmits electricity around the province. It’s also the Crown corporation that pays Queen’s Park just under $1 billion year in profits and levies.



More Ontarians use electricity transmitted by Hydro One than drink beer. But the government figures, probably correctly, that beer will receive the lion’s share of attention.


The most egregious elements of beer-retailing, first revealed by my Star colleague Martin Regg Cohn, will continue.


Beer sales will continue to be dominated by the Beer Store, which, while opened up slightly, will still be controlled by foreign brewers.



Some supermarkets will be able to offer beer. But they won’t be permitted to undercut Beer Store prices. The vast majority of government liquor stores will still be barred from selling beer in anything more than six-packs.



So much for brewski reform.



On Hydro One, however, it seems the privatizers have finally succeeded.



The battle between private and public power in Ontario has been going on since the beginning of the 20th century. Public power won the first round, when a Conservative government set up Ontario Hydro in 1905.


In its final report, released this week, the Clark panel said privatizing Hydro One won’t raise electricity costs for consumers.


I’m not sure how it came to this conclusion. The government hopes to glean $9 billion from the deal. Presumably that money will come from private shareholders who, unless they are blessedly altruistic, will want a handsome rate of return on their investment.

Even Wynne conceded this week that electricity rates might rise.



The government insists that its Ontario Energy Board, which regulates rates, will protect consumers. If so, that would be unusual.

Most regulators begin with the assumption that the businesses they are overseeing must earn a specific profit. Then they calculate how much electricity rates must rise in order to produce that profit.



The ever malleable Clark panel says that privatizing Hydro one will also make it more efficient. If it were operating in a competitive market, that might be true. But Hydro One, which controls 97per cent of electricity transmission in the province, is a monopoly that competes with no one.



The only difference now is that it will be a private rather than a public monopoly. Is this really something to drink to?




Ontario beer sideshow distracts from Hydro One sell-off: Walkom | Toronto Star
 
tay
+2
#6
If this was being done by the CONS there would be protests in the streets ...........


The Ontario government is heading down a dangerous path with its plan to sell off a majority interest in Hydro One.

The risks involved in the plan are becoming more obvious, and the benefits to be gained are at best unclear. Moreover, the arrival of a new Liberal government in Ottawa with promises to spend billions more on infrastructure undermines the argument that selling off the massive utility is crucial to financing the province’s pressing need for more spending in that area.

None of this has deterred the Wynne government, which says it is going “full steam ahead” with the plan. Indeed, on the same day that the province’s financial accountability watchdog reported on the financial risks of the sell-off, Hydro One announced it will start the process this coming week with an initial public offering of 15 per cent of the company on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It expects to reap $1.83 billion from the transaction.

It may be too late to stop that part of the sale. But the government should make clear that it will go no further until the risks and benefits of this plan are more carefully calculated.

It can start with the report from Stephen LeClair, Ontario’s new financial accountability officer. He concludes that the province will be in even worse financial shape after the planned sale of 60 per cent of Hydro One than it is now. That’s because Hydro One brings in about $750 million a year to the provincial treasury, so the sale means it would lose some $500 million a year.

In short, says LeClair: “The province’s fiscal position will deteriorate compared to if they didn’t undertake this sale.”

The government rejects this logic, and says LeClair is not taking into account the benefits to be reaped by the whole province if transit, highways and other infrastructure are improved. But if it has studies backing up that conclusion, it hasn’t made them public.


And those sorts of benefits are by their very nature difficult to estimate with any accuracy.

Beyond that, the political environment around infrastructure funding has changed dramatically after the election of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals with a majority mandate in Ottawa.

The fundamental justification for the sale of Hydro One was that the money is needed to help pay for Ontario’s plan to spend $30.5 billion over 10 years on transit, bridges, highways and other infrastructure. Of the $9 billion expected to be raised by privatizing most of Hydro One, $5 billion would go to pay off debt and the other $4 billion would be earmarked for infrastructure.

The incoming Trudeau government campaigned heavily on its promise to expand infrastructure spending dramatically — even saying it will run deficits for the next three years to pay for it. It pledged to deliver $60 billion more in infrastructure spending over 10 years to provinces and municipalities.

Who knows exactly how much will come Ontario’s way? But if the province gets a share roughly equivalent to its proportion of Canada’s population (38 per cent), it could end up with something on the order of $22-$23 billion. Surely Premier Kathleen Wynne, given her excellent relationship with fellow Liberal Trudeau, won’t settle for much less.

With the prospect of that kind of federal funding in the offing, the argument for selling off a valuable utility to reap $4 billion is clearly weakened.

To be fair, it was understandable that Wynne turned to creative methods to finance her infrastructure plan when she was working with the Harper government. It had turned a deaf ear to pleas from provinces and municipalities — never mind economists and other experts — for more money. At the same time, there was little public appetite for bringing in so-called “revenue tools” (extra taxes and fees) to pay for transit and roads.

Now, though, Wynne should reconsider the arguments of those who came out against the sale when it was announced last March.

LeClair’s report, for example, comes in addition to a joint warning from eight respected legislative watchdogs, including the auditor general and the ombudsman, that privatizing the majority of the utility would “significantly reduce” their ability to hold it accountable on behalf of taxpayers.

And it’s in addition to an internal government poll that found 73 per cent of respondents believe the Crown electricity transmission utility should definitely or probably stay in public hands.

The calculus around this project has fundamentally changed. The government should take the new information into account and make it clear that any further sale is on hold

Ontario government should put plan to sell off Hydro One on hold: Editorial | Toronto Star
 
CDNBear
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by tayView Post

If this was being done by the CONS there would be protests in the streets ...........

Your objectivity is startlingly refreshing.
 
taxslave
#8
Too bad all the industry has been booted out of Ontario. Now there is little more than residential customers. ANd Exports. Hydro 1 can export all that power to places where industry is still permitted.
 
tay
#9
t’s no wonder electricity costs in Ontario are often described as “skyrocketing.”

The November 1 increase in Ontario electricity prices (external - login to view) is the second in six months, with another rise coming in January when the government cancels the 10 per cent discount consumers get on their bills through the Clean Energy Benefit.

However, it turns out the electricity bills of Ontarians are in line with other comparable jurisdictions, and the main drivers of price increases are more mundane — and less political — than some might think.

It’s true that Ontario’s electricity prices are much higher than neighbouring Quebec and Manitoba. However, that’s because both those provinces have an abundance of cheap hydroelectric power. Ontario doesn’t have that luxury because the demand for energy here is far greater than the amount of hydroelectric power that can be generated in the province, says Mark Winfield, co-chair of the Sustainable Energy Initiative at York University.

“Places whose systems are essentially 100 per cent hydroelectric, it’s fortunate for them, but they’re not necessarily reasonable points of comparison to Ontario,” he adds. “You need to look at the Californias, the New Yorks and the Michigans and places like that.”

And in comparison to those places, Ontario holds its own: A recent Hydro Quebec report (external - login to view) estimated that earlier this year the average monthly electricity bill, including taxes, was $164.04 in Toronto and $167.95 in Ottawa. In San Francisco, $277.31; in New York City it was $314.35; and in Detroit, $197.21. The report priced all the bills in Canadian dollars, but even when the exchange rate used is taken into account, the Ontario prices cited in the study are still competitive with those other jurisdictions.

“We’re not exceptionally high [in terms of prices] by any stretch of the imagination,” says Winfield. “We’re sort of middle of the pack.”
Still, there’s no question the province’s hydro prices have been going up: According to the Ontario Energy Board (external - login to view), the off-peak price for residential users of electricity has gone from 3.5 cents per kilowatt hour in May 2006 to 8.3 now – more than double in less than 10 years.

What’s driving the increase? Is it the cost of cancelled gas plants? Green energy schemes (external - login to view)? Rising salaries and benefits for hydro workers?

Those all contributed. Yet a much bigger driver of electricity cost is inflation. The University of Toronto’s Don Dewees has found that between 2000 and 2010, inflation accounted for almost half the increase (external - login to view) in cost for the average residential consumer. Since then the rate of inflation has slowed, but Dewees estimates it is still responsible for somewhere around 30 per cent of electricity price increases in recent years.

The government’s much-criticized renewable energy projects also account for some of the cost, but not as much as many people seem to think, according to Jack Gibbons, chair of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.

“The rising rates now are driven partly because they’ve been paying high prices for wind and solar through the feed-in-tariff, and that’s what people like [Progressive Conservative Leader] Patrick Brown only talk about,” he says. A much larger factor, says Gibbons, are the costs associated with the province’s nuclear plants.

Looking at what’s called the global adjustment (GA) shows just how much more nuclear has driven rising costs than any other form of generation. The GA is a surcharge on the province’s electricity bills that covers a variety of costs including closing down the province’s coal-fired plants and Pickering nuclear plant, building new generating capacity and maintaining existing power plants.

A breakdown of the global adjustment (external - login to view) shows that nuclear costs accounted for 42 per cent of the GA, while gas-powered generation took up 26 per cent and renewables — including hydroelectric, wind and solar power — accounted for just 17 per cent.

Winfield says there was essentially no choice but to spend billions of dollars on Ontario’s energy infrastructure by the time the Liberals took office because for about 20 years prior, provincial governments of all political stripes had spent very little on maintaining the energy system and building new capacity.

“We essentially were living off assets that were built some time ago,” he says. “We were keeping prices artificially low, and we reached a point where those assets began to reach end-of-life and had to be replaced. And in some cases those capital costs proved to be much more than anticipated.”

However, while much of the energy investments over the past decade were unavoidable, both Winfield and Gibbons say the government erred by deciding to refurbish Ontario’s nuclear reactors.

“As a result we now have surplus generation, in fact surplus nuclear generation, which we’re often exporting at a loss,” says Gibbons.
To prevent energy costs from spiralling out of control, Gibbons argues, Ontario should abandon its nuclear plans, invest in more energy conservation measures and look more seriously at imported hydroelectric power from Quebec as a key part of the province’s energy mix.

Not all energy industry observers think doubling down on nuclear is a mistake for consumers. Jatin Nathwani, executive director of the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, thinks that in the long run nuclear generation will still provide cheap power for the province.

He also says that over-capacity is a good problem to have compared to the shortages and reliability problems Ontario faced in the early 2000s (external - login to view).

In Nathwani’s view, the investments the province made as a result of shutting down its coal-fired generating stations could become a competitive advantage as other jurisdictions — particularly in the U.S. — that haven’t reduced their carbon emissions from electricity generation face increasing pressure to do so because of climate change concerns.

“They have not yet had to absorb any costs like that,” he says. “We have absorbed it. Done.”


What Ontarians don’t know about rising hydro rates | TVO.org (external - login to view)
 
darkbeaver
#10
"The vast majority of government liquor stores will still be barred from selling beer in anything more than six-packs."

Maybe the hydro thing will work out well for the consumer maybe it won't. Nova Scotia went private about a decade ago, the infrastructure has been left to rot and the trees are taking over the lines, response times are long and price keeps rising.
About the beer, nothing bigger than six packs, is that a typo?
 
lone wolf
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by tayView Post

If this was being done by the CONS there would be protests in the streets ...........

Actually, there were - then Harris got some real common sense
 
Jinentonix
#12
Quote:

The government insists that its Ontario Energy Board, which regulates rates, will protect consumers. If so, that would be unusual.

Not at all. At least not if you consider the ol' Wynned sock's definition of "significant" hydro rate relief is increasing the rates by an average of $170/yr just this year alone.
Quote:

The government hopes to glean $9 billion from the deal.

And based on the price shares will be available for, apparently the Wynned sock regime is looking to sell around 500 million shares.


As it is, thousands of people in Ontario are already at risk of losing their homes because they can't afford $900+/mo hydro bills in the winter.
And to think, McNuggets and the Liberals already planned to sell off Hydro One when they were busy campaigning against the Conservatives using the planned sell-off as leverage to get the vote. All the while planning on doing the exact same thing once they were in power.
And some people think only the Conservatives are slimy, immoral, deceptive and corrupt.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+3
#13  Top Rated Post
I think this current government redefines the terms slimy, immoral deceptive and corrupt. I find it hard to think of any other government past, present or future capable of rising (or sinking) to their levels in that regard.
 
HarperCons
#14
privatization and selling your country is a capitalist feature.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+2
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiingView Post

I think this current government redefines the terms slimy, immoral deceptive and corrupt. I find it hard to think of any other government past, present or future capable of rising (or sinking) to their levels in that regard.

I don't understand the outrage. Clearly they broke the law, cancelled contracts to save seats, lost billions and erased hard drives to cover their a$$es and still the bulk of Ontarian's gave them a majority. Why is anyone upset or surprised?
 
CDNBear
+2
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

I don't understand the outrage. Clearly they broke the law, cancelled contracts to save seats, lost billions and erased hard drives to cover their a$$es and still the bulk of Ontarian's gave them a majority. Why is anyone upset or surprised?

I can't find anyone that will admit they voted for her, lol.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

I can't find anyone that will admit they voted for her, lol.

Understandable.
 
DaSleeper
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

I can't find anyone that will admit they voted for her, lol.

Would you believe me if I tell you that even flossy won't admit voting for her when he pays his electricity bill next month....if he has a bill to pay......
 
Jinentonix
#19
Quote:

The government rejects this logic, and says LeClair is not taking into account the benefits to be reaped by the whole province if transit, highways and other infrastructure are improved. But if it has studies backing up that conclusion, it hasn’t made them public.

Sure they did. The ol' Wynned sock stated the funds would be used to improve transit in Toronto. And for sure the people of Ontario outside of the GTA won't have any problem with skyrocketing hydro rates knowing that the center of the universe will have an improved public transit system.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#20
 
tay
#21
Meanwhile, Robert Benzie and David Rider note (link is external) that Kathleen Wynne seems happy to give away public money to subsidize the privatization of not only Ontario Hydro but Toronto Hydro in the name of managing public money.

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government will be all ears if Mayor John Tory asks for tax concessions to expedite the sale of Toronto Hydro.

But no such formal request has come from Tory, and Finance Minister Charles Sousa cautions the city would have to account for a 22 per cent provincial transfer tax.

“Toronto Hydro will be subject to the same conditions as everybody else,” Sousa told the Star in an interview.

That suggests the city could be on the hook for $220 million in transfer tax if a $1-billion stake in Toronto Hydro were sold.

“Toronto Hydro would have to abide by that transfer tax number,” the finance minister said, noting he lowered that levy to 22 per cent last year from 33 per cent. It will go back up to 33 per cent in 2019.

While there are write-offs the utility could use to reduce its transfer tax tab, the more complicated matter of a departure tax has yet to be determined.

They said Wynne’s administration is willing to listen to any pitch from the mayor and council — especially if the money the city saves in provincial taxes is plowed back into municipal infrastructure.

As a publicly owned company, Toronto Hydro now makes what are known as “payments in lieu of taxes” — or PILs — instead of corporate income tax.

“The departure tax is a mechanism that ensures taxes are appropriately collected when a company ceases to be 90 per cent municipally owned and leaves the PILs system,” she said.

“A company that pays a departure tax amount has had a gain on the value of its property while in the PILs system which needs to be recognized.”

Wynne stressed the province, which is selling off a majority stake in Hydro One, would not prevent Toronto from doing the same thing.
“It is up to the city of Toronto council and the mayor to have this discussion and to make a decision about their utility. It is up to them,” she said Thursday.

Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault has underscored that.

“The decision to privatize Toronto Hydro is up to Toronto city council. There are no ifs, and or buts . . . that is the council that makes the decision,” said Thibeault.

Still, NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh said he’s worried “the Liberals can encourage the privatization by offering special tax loopholes.

“The reality is the premier can make it a lot easier for Toronto Hydro and other local utilities to privatize if she gives the municipalities a tax break,” said Singh.

“So, the Liberal government can actually encourage this decision if they waive that tax,” he said, adding “it’s very clear that privatization increases costs.”

Wynne’s government is using $4 billion of the $9 billion it expects to raise from selling 60 per cent of Hydro One for new public transit, highways, and bridges. The remaining $5 billion will pay off the transmission utility’s debt.
 
MHz
#22
Are electric vehicles and new devices part of the package as spin-off industries?? Are back-up battery packs going to be available for the home as an emergency kit if the lines are down for an extended period. I live in gas country so a 'fat-boy propane tank is what the BBQ is hooked up to as well as the garage and house as it holds NG rather than propane. Now about that mini turbine for the car??
 
lone wolf
#23
Toronto Hydro is already in hock to Hydro One for new cross-city transmission lines
 
tay
#24
-- Premier Kathleen Wynne is calling high electricity prices her "mistake," sounding a note of contrition on one of the major issues threatening the Liberals' re-election bid in 2018.

Amid the usual rallying of the troops at the Ontario Liberals' annual general meeting Saturday, Wynne addressed her poor popularity numbers, which she called the "elephant in the room."

"I think that people look at me and many of them think, 'She's not who we thought she was. She's become a typical politician. She'll do anything to win,"' Wynne said.

"Frankly, I may have and I think I sometimes have given them reason to think that."

Wynne said part of convincing Ontarians that she wants to do what is in their best interests is admitting when she has made a mistake.

"People have told me that they've had to choose between paying the electricity bill and buying food or paying rent," Wynne said.

"That is unacceptable to me. It is unacceptable that people in Ontario are facing that choice. Our government made a mistake. It was my mistake.

An eight-per-cent rebate on electricity bills comes into effect Jan. 1, but Wynne said she will find more ways to lower rates and reduce the burden on consumers.

After her speech, Wynne wouldn't point to any specific decision on the electricity file that she deems a mistake, but said her focus was on the big issues facing the system and she hasn't always paid enough attention to how costs were accumulating on people's bills.

Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk has said the electricity portion of hydro bills for homes and small businesses rose 70 per cent between 2006 and 2014.

Wynne calls high electricity prices her 'mistake' | CTV News (external - login to view)
 
Curious Cdn
+2
#25
Ontario government needs quick $$$$, before Ontario's credit rating hits C-, so they're burning the furniture.
 
tay
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious CdnView Post

Ontario government needs quick $$$$, before Ontario's credit rating hits C-, so they're burning the furniture.

Maybe her admission today that the Libs have ignored all of the ranting about Hydro prices, tied in with a survey that said the Libs would win if she stepped down, is a foreshadow that she is considering stepping down, for the good of the party......

forums.canadiancontent.net/on...rio-again.html (external - login to view)
 
Curious Cdn
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by tayView Post

Maybe her admission today that the Libs have ignored all of the ranting about Hydro prices, tied in with a survey that said the Libs would win if she stepped down, is a foreshadow that she is considering stepping down, for the good of the party......

forums.canadiancontent.net/on...rio-again.html (external - login to view)

The Libs MIGHT win if she steps down, depending on who replaces her but they have no chance, if she stays.

They have outstayed their welcome.
 
tay
#28
I don't know if the Brown Cons have a plan for Hydro costs and I heard the NDP's Horvath recently say something along the lines of "give us 6 months after we are elected and we will sort things out'. Maybe that was just to not reveal their campaign plans but, if Wynne leaves and they reduce the cost by 25%, they may win again.....
 
Remington1
#29
Where's the entrance to the exit please, June 2018 will be the dawn of a new day.
 
tay
#30
So if in 'April 2002: Ontario Superior Court rules that the government does not have the right to sell shares in Hydro One.' How can they do so now?


Here's a brief history of Hydro woes from 2003......


The issue of electricity - how much we have, who makes it and who sells it - has been a thorn in the side of Ernie Eves throughout his term as leader of Ontario's Conservatives.


Along with the reins of government, Eves inherited responsibility for Ontario Hydro's crippling debt and a controversial Tory plan to partially privatize the public utility. He proceeded with the privatization solution, launching a stormy tenure as premier that was marked by unpopular decisions and, ultimately, a complete policy reversal.

One could be forgiven for thinking that such a track record would leave the Tories vulnerable on the election trail. For their part, the New Democrats have fashioned their entire campaign around the theme of "Public Power," with an emphasis on keeping the province's electrical transmission and generating systems entirely in public hands.

But the fact is, all three of the major parties bear some responsibility for our now-faltering electrical system: the Tories, who gave the green light to the disastrous Darlington nuclear plant project; the Liberals, who ignored Darlington's massive cost overruns; the New Democrats, who froze power rates even as Ontario Hydro's debt continued to mount.

"No question, mistakes have been made in relation to this system," said Mitch Rothman, a chief economist with Ontario Hydro from 1982 to 1993. "And for those kinds of mistakes, all three parties bear some blame."

Darlington was the most costly mistake, and remains one of the most problematic nuclear power stations in Ontario, said Tom Adams, executive director of Energy Probe.

"Its cost overrun fundamentally weakened Ontario Hydro's financial position and was the largest single cause of the utility's financial collapse," Adams said.

The challenge for each of the three major parties in this campaign is threefold: whoever governs will need to pay down years' worth of accumulated Hydro debt, keep electricity prices within reach for consumers, and find ways of paying for upgrades to generating capacity and transmission lines.

How will they do it? See their promises to the left.

How did they get here? Below, we pick highlights from the life of Ontario Hydro, dated from the birth of the Darlington facility:

1970: Conservative government of John Robarts acquires land near Bowmanville for creation of the Darlington nuclear plant.

1973: Engineering studies done for Darlington. The new generation of nuclear plant was designed with sophisticated computer systems that would provide significantly upgraded shutdown safety design, and would allow it to adjust its output.

1976: Tory government of Bill Davis gives Darlington project an exemption from public environmental assessment review.

1978: Cabinet approves Darlington spending. Early estimate projects that the four-unit station would be completed by 1983 at a cost of $2.5 billion.

1983: Initial deadline for completion of Darlington project comes and goes.

1985: After 42 years in power, the Tories are toppled by a coalition of Liberals and New Democrats. The new government contemplates cancelling the Darlington project, but relents when Ontario Hydro officials offer assurances that the plant is almost complete.

1987: Liberals under David Peterson win majority in general election.

1989: Darlington takes its first of four units fully online.

1990: New Democrats under Bob Rae win general election. In an attempt to deal with the "gigantic" debt amassed by Ontario Hydro, government orders cuts to maintenance costs.

1993: Construction completed at Darlington, a decade late and at a total cost of $14.4 billion. Ontario Hydro is now billions of dollars in debt; nonetheless, the NDP government imposes a rate freeze, saying the price consumers are being charged for electricity represents "power at cost."

1995: Tories return to power under Mike Harris. They leave the NDP rate freeze in place, but announce intention to solve the Ontario Hydro debt problem by breaking up the public utility's monopoly on power generation and transmission.

Oct. 30, 1998: Energy Competition Act comes into effect. It's the road map to a deregulated electricity market. For details see Deregulation Recap.

June 2000: Eyeing problems with electricity deregulation in other jurisdictions, the Harris government delays the date for deregulation indefinitely. It was originally set for Nov. 1, 2000.

December 2001: Tories announce the market will open May 1, 2002. Harris also announces that Hydro One will be sold in a share offering expected to be worth $5 billion.

March 2002: Ernie Eves succeeds Harris as Tory leader and premier.

April 2002: Ontario Superior Court rules that the government does not have the right to sell shares in Hydro One.

May 2002: Government proceeds with plan to sell off Hydro One, and to let electricity prices float at market levels. In the hot summer that follows, the province's generation capacity is not sufficient to meet demand; consumers grow alarmed at skyrocketing prices.

June 2002: Eves backs off plans to privatize Hydro One, cancelling what was expected to have been the biggest public share offering in Canadian corporate history.

July 2002: Hydro One CEO Eleanor Clitheroe is fired after details of her compensation package are made public.

November 2002: Faced with a looming consumer revolt, Eves reverses the deregulation plans and announces a rate cap of 4.3 cents per kilowatt-hour until at least 2006. The move killed business for electricity resellers, and eliminated the incentive for private companies to build generating plants.

Aug. 14, 2003: Massive power failure plunges most of the province into darkness. Province's generating stations - including Darlington - enact emergency shutdown procedures, and aren't fully up to speed again until a week later.
 

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