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.Read More »

Toronto’s blackouts

I live a little north of the commonly perceived end of Mississauaga’s world (Barrie), but actually still within the orbit of the Toronto area.

The first hint of trouble yesterday was in an e-mail I received at 5:22 pm yesterday originating in Scarborough:

I have had four power outages so far today and am ready to strangle …

I’m not condoning the sentiment.

heh heh heh

Just after 7 the first phone call (south Etobicoke); with the request to see what’s happening with their power situation because not only is their power out, the data wasn’t working with the cell provider either.

Hilarity ensues: nothing on Toronto Hydro outage map for the area, so I entered an outage form – which after entering saw the screen change to a screen telling me if I have a problem to fill out the form below – which did not exist.

I gave the phone number for Toronto Hydro out to my caller, and wished them well.Read More »