TORONTO, Nov. 14, 2014 /CNW/ - The Power Workers' Union advises the Wynne government and all Ontarians to be highly suspect of the recommendations made in the initial report of the Premier's Advisory Council on Government Assets, chaired by Ed Clark, former CEO of the TD Bank Group, released today.
Power Workers' Union spokesperson, John Sprackett said "Our analysis shows that the recommendations made by the Advisory Council are bad news for Ontario electricity consumers and taxpayers. Hydro One costs will go up, which means higher electricity rates, and revenues will go down, which means lower revenue streams for all Ontarians."
Mr. Clark is advocating the division of Hydro One's distribution and transmission businesses and the subsequent sale of a majority stake in the distribution business to private owners.
Ironically, the government is now in the process of merging two of its electrical agencies--the Ontario Power Authority and the Independent Electricity System Operator-- into one agency to gain efficiencies through shared services and economies of scale.
"Mr. Clark has offered no analysis or logical argument that operating Hydro One transmission separately from distribution would be more efficient, reduce costs, improve service or reliability for ratepayers, or return more revenue for the shareholder – the Ontario government" said Sprackett. "Separating these businesses would cause costly and unnecessary duplication of corporate facilities, management, workforces, control systems, work centres, and IT systems. The result will be higher electricity transmission rates for Ontarians and higher rates for Hydro One's distribution customers."
Hydro One has already taken significant steps to improve customer service, increase efficiencies and maximize the value of the company's assets to generate better returns for Ontarians. Long-term annual revenues upwards of $150 million dollars per year could be lost if these publicly-owned Hydro One distribution assets are sold to private interests and that loss of revenue will put even more pressure on government finances and taxes.
"We are very concerned that the Advisory Council has not lived up to its stated Guiding Principles":
- the public interest remains paramount and protected
- decisions align with maximizing value to Ontarians
- the decision process remains transparent, professional and independently validated.
Sprackett concluded, "The Advisory Council recommendations are not in the best interests of Ontario. The owners of these assets, the people of Ontario, deserve to have the government provide full transparency and validation before any final actions are taken. I expect Premier Wynne will hear much, much more from electricity customers and taxpayers on this matter in the coming weeks and months."
Image with caption: "Power Workers' Union (CNW Group/Power Workers' Union)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141114_C6307_PHOTO_EN_8027.jpg
SOURCE: Power Workers' Union
For further information: John Sprackett, Office of the President, Power Workers' Union, [email protected], 416-322-4787