LTE: Hydro One sale will make utility better performer

Broadening the ownership of Hydro One is about strengthening the company’s long-term performance and generating billions for needed investments in critical infrastructure across Ontario. Our approach will generate approximately $4 billion, of a $31.5 billion, 10-year infrastructure plan, to invest in the roads, bridges, and transit lines our province needs and create more than 110,000 jobs each year to help our economy grow. This approach will also pay down the debt by $5 billion.

A recent editorial on this news website suggested otherwise, Ontario will remain Hydro One’s largest shareholder and ratepayers will have enhanced protections. As part of this initial public offering, no other single shareholder – or group of shareholders – would be permitted to own more than 10% of the new Hydro One, ensuring that shares are broadly held across Ontario and the government remains the largest single shareholder by far. This approach will allow Hydro One to become more innovative, more competitive, and a more effective performer.

I know that hydro rates are top of mind for consumers across the Province. Let me be clear, Hydro One has never had the power to set its own rates and will not ever have the power to set its own rates. This is done by the Ontario Energy Board, which has a powerful mandate to enforce just and reasonable rates for all Ontarians. Our government will continue to enhance these powers to protect consumers and increase oversight.

Our government is working to strike exactly the appropriate balance — the people of Ontario keep the largest share of ownership, gain billions to build infrastructure, pay down $5 billion in debt, avoid having to borrow money and strengthen the protections that ratepayers enjoy.

Bob Chiarelli
Ontario Minister of Energy

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