FAO to probe Ontario-Quebec power deal: FedeliPublished on August 10, 2017
QUEEN’S PARK – Following a request by PC Finance Critic Vic Fedeli and PC Energy Critic Todd Smith, Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer has agreed to review the Electricity Trading Agreement entered into last fall by the Wynne government and Quebec.
The review follows written requests submitted to the FAO in July by the two MPPs.
“I am concerned that the financial details of this transaction have not been released to the public,” Fedeli wrote.
“It is important that we learn the facts so we can evaluate the impacts on the economy, including job losses caused by this secret deal, as well as the effect on electricity ratepayers,” he continued, pointing to the closure of several small power generators across Ontario that followed in North Bay, Kapuskasing, Kingston, Mississauga and other communities, resulting in about 100 lost jobs.
This probe is very timely given reports this week Kathleen Wynne may be about to enter into another secret energy deal with Quebec at a time Ontario is already paying others to take its surplus power.
“Energy experts are deriding these latest secret negotiations. This is bad for Ontario’s economy and for hydro customers. I worry the Premier is only doing this for political optics at a very high cost to the people of Ontario,” said Fedeli.
In a separate request, the FAO will also consider the impact of recent interest rate increases, strengthening Canadian dollar, and changes in the Toronto real estate market as they prepare their Fall Economic and Fiscal Outlook.
“I believe it’s important for MPPs and the public as a whole to understand these potential impacts, and how they affect the government’s planning and actions going forward,” wrote Fedeli.