Timmins Chamber joins call for transparency on implications of Hydro One sale

Date ArticleType
8/20/2015 Press Release

Timmins, August 20, 2015—The Timmins Chamber of Commerce has joined a coalition of 36 Ontario chambers of commerce and boards of trade calling on the provincial government to provide evidence that electricity prices will not increase as a result of its decision to sell off 60 percent of Hydro One.
“Rising electricity prices are a collective concern and have put Ontario businesses at a competitive disadvantage,” said Kurt Bigeau, incoming 2015-2016 president of the Timmins Chamber.

“It is important to recognize that electricity represents a significant cost to employers. As the government moves forward with the sale of Hydro One, it is essential that it works to ensure that business operation in Ontario remains affordable by containing electricity costs.”

A recent report by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), Empowering Ontario, called for increased transparency around electricity and system cost drivers from the provincial government. The partial sale of Hydro One should be subject to a similar level of scrutiny, the OCC-led coalition argues in a joint letter issued to the Government of Ontario on Aug. 20.

In the short time since the release of the 2013 Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP), industrial electricity rates have increased by 16 percent, and will increase a further 13 percent over the next five years. According to a survey conducted by the OCC, one in 20 businesses in Ontario will either shut their doors or move to another jurisdiction in the coming years due to these rising rates. The Government of Ontario needs to ensure that the cumulative burden on business operation in the province does not increase due to the partial sale of Hydro One, the coalition’s letter states.

“The Ontario Chamber network is concerned that the sale of Hydro One could adversely affect the cost of doing business in the province by adding to the rising price of electricity,” said Bigeau. “As such, we look forward to the provincial government joining this discussion in order to provide detailed clarification on how the sale will impact electricity prices as well as the future competitiveness of Ontario’s electricity system.”

Media contact:
Nick Stewart
Manager of Policy, Research and Communications 
Timmins Chamber of Commerce
(705) 360-1900