The Ontario Energy Board appears to give special treatment to Hydro One

The OEB recently released their 2019 Yearbook of Electricity Distributors and it provides a full collective report on all distributors in the province as well as individual statistics on each of them.  It includes financial information as well as statistical data and includes information such as; outage tracking and alluded causes, average consumption, number of customers and a myriad of other info.

A quick example how to use data contained is to simply divide the total NET* revenue of $3,921,857,499 by the “energy delivered” of 129,764,883 MWh indicating the average distribution cost was 3.02 cents/kWh in 2019 and 2.83 cents/kWh in 2018.  The increase of about 2 tenths of 1 cent (0.019) translates to a 6.7% increase or about 3.3 times the inflation rate for 2019.  While that slight increase seems tiny it actually represented additional net revenue of $175.2 million in 2019 versus 2018 despite a drop in “energy delivered”.  The latter dropped from 132.4 TWh in 2018 to 129.8 TWh in 2019.

Interestingly enough if one examines Hydro One data for the same two years their net revenue increased by $176.9 million which is more than the collective increase from all the local distribution companies (LDC).  Hydro One’s distributed power declined by 687 thousand MWh or about what 81,000 average household would consume in a year.

Another find in the data is the calculation of the RoE (Return on Equity) and collectively it amounted to an average of 9.7% in 2019 but for Hydro One the RoE was the highest, coming in at 15.88%.  What the latter suggests is when Hydro One seek a rate increase the OEB bless the application ignoring their much higher than average RoE.

The OEB, on November 22, 2018, issued a letter to All Licensed Electricity Distributors and Transmitters telling them: “The OEB has determined that the updated cost of capital parameters for rate applications for rates effective in 2019 are:

Cost of Capital Parameter Value for Applications for rate changes in 2019 ROE 8.98%“!

So, the OEB sets the value for the future and while the overall average came in at 9.7% for 2019 one should realize that due to Hydro One being the largest LDC in the province and due to the 15.88% RoE they achieved the overall average was pushed up to that level by them.

One would hope the OEB brings Hydro One back to earth on future applications for rate increases and protect us ratepayers rather than provide those benefits to their shareholders for the dividends they hand out at their targeted “Payout Ratio” of 70-80%!**

Ratepayers want value for the cost of electricity and the OEB are the government body that is supposed to ensure that happens!

The time has come for the OEB to recognize why they exist!

*Gross revenue less the Cost of Power.

**Hydro One’s Targeted dividend payout ratio remains at 70% – 80% of net income.

OPG on their way to Record Profits for 2020

Having missed OPG’s press release on their 2nd Quarter financial results a few days ago, a post on Scott Luft’s twitter account stating: “OPG released Q2 results. Net income during the first half of 2020 is $775 million – which is greater than their full year net income in all but one year from 1999-2015” alerted me!

What the above suggests is OPG will finish the year with record profits despite most of Ontario’s industrial companies being negatively affected by the Covid-19 lock-down. It seems ironic one of the province’s wholly owned companies will achieve record results with the economy brutalized and electricity consumption falling.  For the first six months of 2019 Class A and B consumption was 68.7 TWh and for 2020 it fell to 65.5 TWh for a drop of 3.2 TWh or 4,7%.

OPG’s revenue in the first six months was up from $2,992 million in 2019 to $3,569 million or $577 million (+19.3%). In 2019 OPG generated 39.3 TWh versus 41.6 TWh in 2020. OPG provided 63.5% of all ratepayer consumption in 2020 versus 57.2% in 2019. It seems incongruous the increased generation of 2.3 TWh produced additional revenue of $548 million (net of fuel expenses).

On closer examination of the foregoing the commentary in the report states OPG spilled 1.9 TWh of hydro in 2019 whereas in 2020 it was 2.5 TWh due to SBG (surplus baseload generation) so that would have added some revenue.  The additional spilled hydro payments however would only account for about $30 million of the $548 million increase so why did gross revenue climb by so much?

As it turns out most of the huge jump in revenue came about because of a rate approval from the OEB in 2018 related to OPG’s nuclear plants. The OEB had, for some reason, been sitting on the rate application for a considerable period.  While OPG generated an additional 1.6 TWh from nuclear plants it accounted for about $150 million in additional revenue.  The rate increase for the balance of the nuclear generation added approximately $260 million and the rest of the increase in revenue came from gas generation facilities (some recently acquired by OPG) and the balance from their US hydroelectric owned facilities purchased in October 2019.

The average cost per MWh of nuclear power generated by OPG in the first six months of 2019 was 81.80/MWh and jumped to 94.20/MWh in 2020 for an increase of 15.1%.

The upsetting part about the results is OPG has, so far in 2020, produced a ROE (return on equity) of 9.2% during the pandemic lock-down on the $775 million of after tax* ($199 million) net profit! Most private sector businesses are losing money meaning their return on equity is negative and has/will result in many of them declaring bankruptcy or being forced to lay off employees.  Those they lay off will continue to have to pay their electricity bills which are among the highest in Canada and the US.

OPG’s favourable ROE does nothing to alleviate the expensive electricity bills which businesses (small and medium) and residential ratepayers must pay.  The Provincial government should use the $199 million of tax revenue from OPG to reduce ratepayer costs and instruct the OEB to consider lowering the allowed ROE to prevent further increases on our extremely high electricity bills.

The Provincial Government should also move to subvert those high cost wind and solar contracts handed out by the McGuinty/Wynne government that are a continuing burden on all ratepayers.

*While OPG allocates tax costs they are actually referenced as PIL (payments in lieu) of actual taxes and are simply recorded as revenue within the Provincial budget.

Probing Ontario gov’t owned charity, real estate holdings

I was delighted to once again be invited onto the Marc Patrone show on NEWSTALK SAUGA 960 AM this morning to discuss my post of yesterday about the charity MaRS Discovery District.  We also touched on issues related to all charities operating in the country.
You can find the 10 minute or so chat on the podcast starting just past the 33 minute mark here: https://sauga960am.ca/podcasts/
OR
Find it on here on the website NEWTALK CANADA:

MaRS Discovery District lives on Government Grants and miss Fundraising Targets by Miles

The MaRS Discovery District (MDD) is a registered charity owned by the Ontario Provincial Government. MDD was one of the major issues (together with the expanding electricity mess) that resulted in turning the majority McGuinty led Ontario Liberal Party in the 2011 election into a minority!  MDD was conceived in “2001 to develop a world-class innovation and convergence centre (the MaRS Centre) in Toronto dedicated to improving Canada’s economic prosperity from innovation in the life sciences sector.”

MDD didn’t get rolling until the Liberals gained power in 2003 but from that point on MDD took off with incredible support from Provincial taxpayers. As evidence, Provincial support to the end of 2011 was in excess of $150 million and reviewing the 10 years from 2010 to 2019, MDD received $228 million in provincial funding as well as $9.4 million in Federal funds. Actual donations, for which MDD issued tax receipts, were a paltry $4.6 million or an average of $460K annually for those 10 years.

MDD had originally arranged financing for their Phase 2 expansion via IO (Infrastructure Ontario) another provincial entity established by the McGuinty led government but it was never clear* how the $235 million they arranged to borrow via IO would be able to pay the estimated cost of the building of $344 million.  As it turned out IO’s 2015 annual report noted: “The Loan receivable from the Medical and Related Sciences (MaRS) was transferred to the Ministry of Research and Innovation on March 31, 2015.”  The money supplied by the Provincial government at that time reached at least $400 million to cover the expansion.  As time went on and the building was completed Brad Duguid, then Ontario Economic Development Minister, was finally able to announce MaRS had  “completed a $290-million private financing of its west tower building project, which has enabled it to repay three-quarters of the nearly $400-million in loans received from Ontario to complete the stalled project.”  The Globe and Mail carried the story on February 9, 2017. Ironically one of the “premier” tenants in the Phase 2 building is none other than Public Health Ontario (PHO) an outgrowth of the 2003 SARS epidemic! PHO is now guiding the Ford led government on the Covid-19 pandemic!

Just months before the foregoing announcement the Globe ran an article stating: “The long-time CEO of Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District, Ilse Treurnicht, has informed its board she will be stepping down as of June, 2017, ending a 12-year run at the head of the non-profit innovation hub funded primarily by the province.”  If one looks at the “Sunshine list” it is obvious Ms. Treurnicht was extremely well paid particularly when one realizes that she was the CEO of a “charity”! In most years she was paid over $500K.  Comparing her salary to the average annual tax receipted donations of $460K indicates they didn’t even receive enough to pay her salary.  From 2010 the number of employees at MaRS grew from 51 to 211 and compensation costs in 2019 were $23.5 million meaning the average salary for all employees was $111,000!

The foregoing is humorous as when MDD were finally able to arrange partial private financing for their Phase 2 expansion and repaid the Province $290 million of the $400 million of debt they had incurred, Ms. Treurnicht was quoted in a Globe article and presumably the reporter obtained all of the following information from her in addition to her quote.

When the building is fully occupied later this year, it will generate about $20-million in annualized net operating income, enough to make it self-sustaining, MaRS CEO Ilse Treurnicht said.

MaRS will now focus on fundraising, with a goal of bringing in more than $50-million from private donors for programming to help startups. MaRS board members have personally pledged close to $7-million of that amount.

“It’s really exciting because we now have what we always needed – long-term stable financial base for the infrastructure of Mars,” Ms. Treurnicht said.”

MDD have recently released their March 31, 2020 Annual Report but haven’t filed it with the CRA.  Nevertheless, there are parts of the report that make for interesting reading including the fact they once again they finished their year without showing a profit.

What is also interesting is reading the auditor’s notes which indicate their realty and other holdings.  Note 1 tells us about “MaRS Phase 1 Investment Trust, MaRS Phase 1 Inc. and 2550106 Ontario Inc.” as well as “Phase 2 Investment Trust and MaRS Phase 2 Inc.”. They note those realty holdings are “Ontario for-profit” companies.  Other “for profits” owned by MDD include: MaRS Discovery Enterprises Inc., MaRS Catalyst Fund and MaRS 101 Investments. The “not for profits” under the MaRS wing are; MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund Inc. and MaRS Discovery Services Inc. The latter owns 100% of MaRS 101 Ventures and 100% of MaRS Catalyst General Partner Inc. There are companies, etc. MDD claim an interest in but for the sake of brevity let’s stop there.

After reviewing the “not-for-profits” and the “for-profits” owned by a “charity” owned by the taxpayers of the Province of Ontario one wonders; did the Kielburgers’ get their WE to ME organization abilities from the former Ontario Liberals who for 15 years were running the Province?  Just saying!

In reviewing the 2018 and 2019 CRA filing’s for MDD the $50 million goal of donations, cited by their former CEO, Ms. Treurnicht as noted above, appears to be “pie in the sky” as receipted donations in 2018 were $704K and in 2019 were $538K.  That’s a big miss by any planning standards and brings to light an article Peter Foster had in the Financial Post in June 2014 about MDD where he wrote!

MaRS DD was based on the zombie delusion that governments can pick winners or, in this case, carefully select those whom they will guide across the so-called “valley of death” – a place littered with the bleached bones of brilliant innovators who couldn’t sell their dreams to blinkered, flinty-eyed financiers.”

Six years later and MaRS Discovery District is still convinced they can pick the winners out of the clouds of their organization and guide them over the “valley of death”!

The time has come for Ontario’s Auditor General to examine this labyrinth and give Ontario taxpayers the facts about their charity; MaRS Discovery District!  From the outside MaRS looks more like a realty company than a Charity!

*Refer an article by the author in the Financial Post on June 10, 2014.

Rants about Ontario’s electricity system

Canada Day came and went without parades or fireworks to celebrate the 153rd year of Canada’s birth as the Covid-19 pandemic lock-down kept many of us confined to small social bubbles.  The exceptions were those who chose to defy regulations and participated in anti-racism protests, both indigenous and anti-black ones across the country.  To most it seemed a strange way to celebrate our country’s successes. At least the weather was sunny and very warm in Ontario on July 1st!

Industrial Wind Turbines on Canada Day In Ontario

As is often the custom in Ontario on hot humid summer days, most of the IWT (industrial wind turbines) took the day off so the 4,800 MW of capacity they have was virtually silent.  Had they operated at 100% of capacity they would have delivered 115,000 MWh but instead they only managed to puff out 7,440 MWh and had 400 MWh curtailed (at 11 PM) meaning they operated at a level of capacity of 6.8% including the curtailed MWh.  As the morning broke at hour 9 AM they generated 8 MWh or 0.017% of capacity.  Fortunately, we didn’t need their power as nuclear, hydro and gas easily supplied our needs throughout the day even though total market demand reached 22,641 MWh and Ontario demand peaked at 19,342 MWh or 402,000 MWh for the full day.  Our net exports were north of 45,000 MWh which earned us ratepayers only about $750,000 while costing us close to $7 million.

Hydro One’s 1st Quarter Distribution Results raises unanswered questions

Hydro One announced their 1st Quarter 2020 results on May 8, 2020 and they were pretty unexciting with adjusted earnings of .38 cents per share compared to .52 cents in the comparable 2019 quarter. Examining this further; revenue related to Hydro One’s distribution customers increased $118 million (+ 8.9%) but they reported a decline of $82 million (- 16%), net of purchased power.  The latter reputedly climbed from a cost of $807 million in 2019 to $1,007 million in 2020 or $200 million (+ 24.8%).  Now the odd thing one notes is consumption fell by 254,000 MWh* or 3.3% yet costs increased meaning the average cost per MWh shot up $29.31/MWh from $104.29/MWh to $134.60/MWh or 28.1% and well above the increase reported by IESO!  Interestingly if one looks at Note “23. Related Party Transactions” it states in one line; “Amounts related to electricity rebates” which for 2020 totaled $433 million and in 2019 was $138 million for an increase of $295 million. That suggests in just one quarter (compared to the 2019 quarter) the Ford led government raised the taxpayer support to reduce electricity prices year over year by 213.8% if Hydro One is atypical of all distribution companies.  The foregoing is scary for taxpayers and due to the inferred net revenue decline for Hydro One it possibly signals they will apply for a rate increase which will hit ratepayers.  Additionally, it also raises the question; where did the $295 million extra received for those “electricity rebates” go as it should have kept the cost of purchased power lower than Hydro One claim?

IESO’s limited transparency

On a monthly basis the IESO, responsible for managing the Ontario electricity grid, put out data disclosing Class A and Class B Global Adjustment (GA) rates along with consumption by each Class. IESO also provide what they label as a Monthly Market Summary (MMS) and in it you will find consumption, the HOEP (market price) rate for the month and the Class B, GA. They also provide other data covering exports and imports, market demand, lots of charts showing unavailable capacity, operating reserve prices, etc. etc. and even temperature data.  The big difference in the two reports is in respect to “consumption”, ie “market demand” as for some reason the MMS fails to include DX (distributor connected) generation which are the myriad of smaller solar capacity contracts (2,200 MW), wind generation contracts (600 MW), biofuel, etc. etc. IESO is responsible for settling with the LDC (local distribution companies) for the generation for each of the contracts. Those details are presumably provided by the LDC where those contracts reside.  What that tells us is; if IESO was truly transparent they would include the monthly generation created by those DX connected generators so those of us watching the system wouldn’t have to either make assumptions or wait until IESO publish their Year-End Data.

Wind is wimpy during peak demand hours

So far in 2020 five of the top ten peak hours have occurred in the first week of July and collectively IWT contributed 0.9% of their overall capacity during those five hours and only 1,9% of total demand.  What that implies is IWT without 99.9% back-up from reliable generation sources would leave us all sweating in the dark without air conditioning!

Hydro makes wind and solar look expensive and pretty useless

My friend Scott Luft recently posted an excellent chart on his Facebook page showing: generation by source, costs and curtailment for the first six months of each year starting with 2008.  Looking only at the 2020 data by itself is an interesting exercise in that hydro contributed 19,396 GWh (gigawatt hours), wind 7,140 GWh and solar 2,037 GWh.  It is worth noting hydro provided Ontario’s electricity system with 111.4% more power than both wind and solar combined and the average cost of hydro’s power was $59.24/MWh whereas the average cost of wind and solar was $213.69/MWh or 360% more costly. The total cost of the combined wind and solar generation was $1.961 billion versus $1.149 billion for hydro.  If one goes further Scott notes exports were 11,598 GWh so the combined generation of wind and solar represents 79.1% of those exports.  Those exports generated revenue of $17.87/MWh and if all the wind and solar (9,177 GWh) were a part of those exports the net costs to Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers would be approximately $1.8 billion (wind and solar related only) and that is just for the first six months of 2020.

With that cost of $1.8 billion highlighted in the foregoing paragraph I personally hope those of you who read this will forgive my rants and start ranting with me and the others who do the same!

Time for Premier Ford to fix this mess if he wants our economy to recover!

*What 102,000 average households would use over 3 months.

Ford gov’t needs to do more to clean up Liberal’s energy mess

The subject today (June 29, 2020) when I was on the Marc Patrone show on NEWSTALK 960 AM is the captioned.

It’s on the podcast at 53 minutes and is about 12 minutes long.  Find it  here:
and on the blog here:

No More “Carrot and Stick” requirements for Class A Ontario Ratepayers

Recently, Steven Del Duca, leader of the Ontario Liberal Party (OLP) was interviewed on NewsTalk 960 AM by Marc Patrone. While the interview dealt principally with the Covid-19 pandemic at long term care homes, near the end, Marc asked a few questions related to the “electricity” sector which resulted in Del Duca’s berating the Ford government for cancelling some renewable energy contracts at a reputed cost of $200 million.  When Marc then asked about the “gas plant moves” Del Duca’s response was to start dancing and he seemed unable to justify the money wasted when the Liberals held power saying; “it’s complicated, it’s complex”!

The ratepayers and taxpayers of Ontario are certainly aware of the complications and complexities of the electricity bills they receive and most blame the OLP for that.  They were the ruling party who created the GEA in 2009 granting expensive 20-year contracts to wind and solar companies (mainly foreign) that drove up electricity prices. Those contracts negatively affected the ability of large, medium and small companies in the province, resulting in veiled threats from large multinational companies saying they would be forced to leave the province due to the cost of electricity.  Those large corporations via the Association of Major Power Consumers of Ontario (AMPCO) commenced lobbying the McGuinty led government as soon as they saw electricity prices start their climb.

AMPCO were successful as Brad Duguid, Minister of Energy on March 4, 2010 instructed the Ontario Power Authority “to undertake the responsibility for creating and delivering an industrial energy efficiency program (the “Program”) with the objective of achieving cost-effective conservation through industrial process improvements that bring energy efficiency gains.”  Needless to say, the OPA did as told and created the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) allowing large industrial users to reduce their demand by picking five (5) peak hours over the year in order to be granted a reduction in the Global Adjustment by reducing demand during those five hours.  The ICI took effect in September 2011 for the benefit of the AMPCO members who were then classified as Class A ratepayers with the rest us now referenced as Class B.  Minister Duguid’s letter to the OPA indicated up to $660 million could be handed out as “incentive funding to Participating Consumers. Incentives shall be sufficient to generate attractive rates of investment return for Participating Consumers in projects that meet the objective of achieving cost effective conservation.”  Many used those funds to invest in load displacement generation (eg: gas generators) so they could continue to operate during peak hours.

As recently noted by my friend Scott Luft, since the ICI inception in late 2011 through to the end of 2019 the cost to Class B ratepayers was approximately $1.4 billion (average of about $170 million per annum) paid to reduce the GA for those large industrial ratepayers as his recent chart shows.

Running the Class B to Class A transfer for 2019 shows the GA for Class B ratepayers was $108/MWh whereas for Class A ratepayers it was $49.63/MWh making the overall cost to Class B ratepayers just over $200 million for the 40 TWh (terawatt hours) Class A ratepayers consumed. It is worth noting the lower the HOEP (hourly Ontario electricity price) market price is during a month, the higher the B to A subsidy becomes.

The reduced consumption we are experiencing due to the Covid-19 pandemic lock-down has exacerbated the province’s surplus generation causing us to not only export more but also to curtail more wind, spill more hydro and steam-off more nuclear.  One would expect the added surplus would reduce the HOEP as it does when consumption falls and therefore benefits Class A ratepayers.

Undisclosed Class A Stable Electricity Pricing

Recognizing the foregoing Class B to Class A subsidy it came as a complete shock to note a press release was issued at 3.30 PM, Friday June 26,2020 by the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Greg Rickford, announcing the province would provide “Stable Electricity Pricing for Industrial and Commercial Companies”!   The reason for this unexpected late Friday announcement appears to be a concern that peak hours occur during the summer and the Ministry suggests “these large employers can focus on getting their operations back up and running at full tilt.” Instead of “adjusting operations in response to peak electricity demand hours.

What is disturbing about the press release is that it doesn’t disclose what the rate freeze has been set at nor does it disclose the estimated cost and who will bear it!

Will the cost of the freeze be layered onto all of the residential and small/medium sized ratepayers or will it be the taxpayers picking up the costs? Did AMPCO successfully lobby for this rate freeze and abolition of the requirement to increase their members conservation efforts?

While most Ontarians recognize the electricity portfolio is indeed both “complicated” and “complex” this action by the Ministry only adds to it!

Time for the Ford led government to fix the mess in this Ministry and not give the Liberals further ammunition to suggest; “it’s complicated, it’s complex”!

The Ongoing McGuinty GEA Ratepayer Financial Crisis Continues as the OEB releases the 2019 Electricity Supply-Mix

If one is inclined to have a concern about electricity costs and is intent on locating information it is truly disappointing that IESO, who control our grid, issue their annual report with limited information. Even though IESO are responsible for financially settling with all LDC (local distribution companies) for generation from DX (distribution connected) FIT contracted generators they appear unable to  include that generation in their “Year in Review” report.  Their report is released in mid-January.

The IESO report, as noted, doesn’t include DX generation and one must wait another five months or more until the OEB releases what they call; “Ontario’s System-Wide Electricity Supply Mix: 2019 Data”. The OEB released their 2019 review June 18, 2020 and it includes TX (transmission connected) and DX generation by source.  As a matter of interest my friend, Scott Luft does the same thing utilizing IESO Data and estimates, but his reports are issued mere days after the month or year-end.  The OEB report generally confirms his estimates.

So now that the “official” OEB Data is out let’s have a look at some of the information affecting our electricity bills.

Total generation in 2019 was 155.2 TWh (terawatt hours) with nuclear generating 90.4 TWh (58.2%) and hydro 37.2 TWh (24%).  In 2019 we exported 19.8 TWh of our generation to our neighbours in NY, Michigan, Quebec, etc. and they bought it for the average price of 1.83 cents/kWh meaning it generated approximately $360 million in revenue.  If one deducts the exported generation of 19.8 TWh from total generation of 155.2 TWh it indicates Ontario ratepayers consumed 135.4 TWh so nuclear and hydro alone could have supplied 94.2% of all our needs.  Interestingly enough, in 2019 OPG spilled 3.3 TWh of hydro and IESO’s year-end report indicated due to SBG (surplus baseload generation) there were 292 nuclear maneuvers and two (2) nuclear shutdowns. Natural gas plants provided 9.5 TWh so those three sources of generation could have easily supplied all of Ontario’s ratepayer needs.

As noted in the preceding paragraph we exported 19.8 TWh at a very low price but the information from both IESO and the OEB don’t specify the source of the generation exported. If one assumes what we didn’t need was wind and solar (generated and curtailed) the 12.7 TWh of wind plus it’s 2.6 TWh curtailed added to the 3.7 TWh of solar generation coincidentally totals 19 TWh or almost 100% of what we exported for pennies!

Wind and solar costs for 2019 came to about $3.6 billion for which we received only $360 million meaning our exports cost Ontario ratepayers in excess of $3.2 billion and that’s for only one year.  Combined the 16.4 TWh supplied intermittently by wind and solar cost 19.5 cents/kWh or 10.6 times what we sold it for!  Repeating that over the 20-year contract terms granted to renewable energy would remove $64 billion of after-tax dollars from the pockets of ratepayers.

Someone is benefiting from those GEA contracts but it sure isn’t Ontario’s ratepayers!

The Ford government should have utilized the “force majeure” clause in the contracts as soon as the Covid-19 pandemic lock-down was decreed by the Trudeau led Federal government as 2020’s costs will likely be even higher.  The pandemic has resulted in Ontario ratepayers consuming less.

How best to shut down the Canadian Economy? It’s Complicated!

On June 7, 2020 the Globe and Mail published an article by Adam Radwanski criticizing an earlier piece by Christopher Ragan and Andrew Potter of McGill University. The McGill team advocated the “green recovery” plan as an “excellent opportunity to substantially increase the federal carbon tax”–“rather than trying to pick climate-change winners through government spending”. Ragan, founder of the Ecofiscal Commission, and a strong advocate for the carbon tax, has suggested it would have to increase to $210/tonne to be effective in the reduction of emissions to contain global warming.

Radwanski’s article shows he isn’t a huge fan of the carbon tax. In his words: “it’s hard to imagine any government deciding to immediately “double or triple” a carbon price in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.” Anyone with a small amount of common sense would support his view! Raising taxes as we try to emerge from a chronic financial crisis and record unemployment rates does seem a bad plan. As Radwanski notes, the government would need to impose “huge costs on businesses”. This would likely result in many businesses either failing or moving to friendly jurisdictions like the US that have pulled out of the Paris Accord and where only a few states impose carbon taxes.

Radwanski’s article then undertakes a review of other options for intervention – and subsidization. These are just the sorts of things the Eco-Fiscal Commission argued against. He speaks favourably about government subsidizing building retrofits and electric vehicle purchases which he says are: “two of the most obvious potential stimulus measures”. He goes on to say the public won’t buy EVs “if there isn’t enough charging infrastructure” implying the need for government support there too. He notes that transit systems can’t afford to buy electric buses due to ridership drops and opines how the Feds could help finance their purchases. He also expresses concern and the need “to accelerate the end of coalfired power” and avoid “a looming ramp-up of gas-fired energy generation in Ontario.” Interestingly, he avoids mentioning the fact that the very same “gas-fired energy generation” in Ontario is required to back up the McGuinty/Wynne contracted intermittent and unreliable wind and solar generation that drove up energy costs.

Radwanski’s conclusion? The shift – by which he seems to mean to a green future – is going to require more than one policy tool. One assumes he means some combination of carbon taxes and various interventions that pick favourites with government subsidies.

And that’s where Mr Gerald Butts and Mr Bruce Lourie enter the conversation.

The former, in his tweet of June 9th said: “Strong piece by @aradwanski just set the global standard for a clean recovery”! Hours later Bruce Lourie’s response was simply: “It’s complicated”!

Well there you go. Two leading architects of the last two decades of interventionist and expensive government action on energy in Ontario and Canada applaud a piece saying, in sum, that we need more, not less, taxation and intervention going forward.

The Green Energy Act – where both Butts and Lourie had a hand – resulted in Ontario having some of the highest electricity prices in North America. But there is no talk of that here. There is no talk of how all those programmes and policies they thought up have hurt affordability, and with it our competitiveness. No, all we get is the statement that Radwanski’s call for more initiatives is setting a “global standard” and the very helpful comment that “it’s complicated.” Lourie and Butts are greenwashing Canada’s taxpayers and seem hell-bent on further destroying the Canadian economy –their new “Resilient Recovery” initiative is a case in point.

What none of these people -= Ragan, Potter, Butts, Lourie or Radwanski ever talk about is the fact that the Canadian consumer is being hit again and again with more and more costs. When will this end? Only when someone steps forward and says stop – pull out of the Paris Accord, abandon ridiculous targets that hurt Canadians, and get on with allowing Canadians to get on with trying to recover from these messes. It isn’t that complicated!

NB:  Also published on Canadians for Affordable Energy.

Parker Gallant Unmasks The Architects Of The Green Energy Scam

I was once again invited to be on the Marc Patrone show on radio station Newstalk Sauga 960 AM to discuss the recent event announcing the creation of the “Task Force for a Resilient Recovery”.  While the principal chat was about the foregoing Marc and I covered other related issues dealing with the energy sector.  It is a 12 minute segment posted here:

Parker Gallant Unmasks The Architects Of The Green Energy Scam