McGuinty Government Welcomes Recommendations On Strengthening Electricity Sector



    Report Will Help Guide Ontario's Long-term Plan For Reliable And
    Affordable Energy

    QUEEN'S PARK, ON, Dec. 20 /CNW/ - Energy Minister Gerry Phillips says the
recommendations in Phase II of the Agency Review Panel report will help
strengthen Ontario's long-term plan for a secure, reliable and affordable
electricity supply.
    "Our agencies have helped put Ontario's electricity sector back on track,
and they will all continue to play a vital role," said Minister Phillips. "Now
is not the time to implement institutional change in the sector. At the same
time, the report makes prudent and helpful suggestions for the future as the
sector develops. We'll be taking their advice to heart as we move forward and
seek out appropriate opportunities for streamlining."
    The review examines how Ontario's five electricity sector institutions
can work together more efficiently. It comes at a critical time as Ontario
puts the finishing touches on a 20-year plan to provide a secure, safe,
reliable and affordable electricity supply through a mix of conservation,
renewables, nuclear and natural gas.
    The Ontario Power Authority filed the 20-year plan, known as the
Integrated Power System Plan for formal approval of the Ontario Energy Board
On August 29, 2007. The Board is conducting year-long public consultations to
ensure that the plan is economically prudent and cost effective.

    
    Key elements of the Agency Review Panel review include:

    -   Ensuring a fulsome, integrated process among agencies for the
        approval of electricity projects.
    -   Continuing the independence of Ontario's Chief Energy Conservation
        Officer, to ensure regular reports on Ontario's conservation
        progress.
    -   Creating new tools to ensure a continued and growing supply of
        expertise and skilled workers to meet the needs of Ontario's energy
        future.
    -   Continuing to facilitate the consolidation of Local Distribution
        Companies, which deliver electricity to homes and businesses.

    One of the several recommendations Minister Phillips is committing to
quickly pursue is the need to address the industry's human resources
challenge.
    "The panel's recommendations concerning new tools to develop a future pool
of talented energy professionals are exciting," said Minister Phillips. "I
plan to discuss them with my colleague at the Ministry of Training, Colleges
and Universities as well as our agency partners."
    The Agency Review Panel was established on January 29, 2007 under the
Ministry of Energy Act. The panel members include: James Arnett, former
Education Minister Dave Cooke, former Attorney-General Charles Harnick Q.C.,
and Dr. Sharon Manson Singer. The panel presented its first report this past
summer, addressing executive compensation at Ontario's electricity agencies.
    A copy of the Panel's two reports and its Terms of Reference are posted on
the Ministry of Energy's website at www.energy.gov.on.ca.

    Disponible en français.
                             www.energy.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Alan Findlay, Minister's Office, (416)
327-3546; Sylvia Kovesfalvi, Communications Branch, (416) 327-4334

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Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

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