Better Guardians needed for Ontario’s Electricity Sector

Retired Toronto Hydro employees called on agencies mandated to protect the public interest to investigate malpractice at Toronto Hydro only to be stonewalled.

Tom Adams’ Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 125 Guest Post: Stonewalled by Guardians demands reading – it’s about Toronto Hydro, but I fear its applicable to most things connected with Toronto.

My interests may be peaked as the guest post is co-written by Paul Kahnert. Adams writes:

On a personal note, some readers might recall that I had a long history as an advocate for the break-up and privatization of Ontario Hydro. The most articulate and energetic advocate for public power on the other side of that debate was Paul Kahnert, then a union activist with CUPE Local 1 and a Toronto Hydro employee. My adversarial engagement against Mr. Kahnert arose from his role as the spokesperson for the Ontario Electricity Coalition whose provincial campaign and court case stopped the sale of Hydro One in April of 2002.

Jump forward to 2015.

As I came to realize that Fiona Crean, then the City Ombudsman (now the Hydro One Ombudsman), was stonewalling my request for an investigation of the Union Street blackout and other major events of operational failure due to Toronto Hydro’s negligence after Crean lead me on, I also learned that Mr. Kahnert was spearheading a similar initiative. If you compare the timing of the Kahnert/Grant initiatives with my posts 122, 123 and 124 of this series, you will see that I was, in fact, following in their footsteps. Although we were familiar to each other previously, it wasn’t until this event that Mr. Kahnert and I realized that we were in many ways kindred spirits, sharing many objectives for an electricity future Toronto can be proud of. As we have become friends, Mr. Kahnert never tires of reminding me that consumers were far better off before the break-up of Ontario Hydro than they are now. He’s right.

This is how adults should act. They exchange ideas and communicate with respect. I do not know Paul Kahnert, but I came into communication with Tom Adams arguing pro-nuclear positions, and I’m very grateful I did.

My friend Parker Gallant wrote an open letter to John Tory “and many others” after reading the post on Tom Adams’ site. From that letter:

Re: What is up with Toronto Hydo

If you are a Toronto resident or anyone in the Province of Ontario with a vested interest in the truth and how the electricity system operates;  the posting on Tom Adam’s website today will shock you.  In particular the hidden innuendo present in the article and various attachments is particularly disconcerting in this reputedly “transparent” province.

Retired experts from Toronto Hydro were upset with the way in which it was/is being run and how safety and reliability issues are simply ignored. They articulated their observations and sent it to the parties we should trust to conduct a proper investigation. As it turned out they have been shoved aside despite their expertise on these matters.

They were particularly upset about the way the Toronto Ombudsman’s office dealt with the issues they reported and additionally how the Ontario Energy Board made it obvious they didn’t want to disturb the status quo.

So please read: Ontario Electricity Regulation Crisis Report Part 125 Guest Post: Stonewalled by Guardians

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