Society of Energy Professionals

Society of Energy Professionals

July 12, 2010 15:50 ET

Energy Professionals: SuperCorp's dead, let's focus on rebuilding

Supercorp discussion accomplished nothing to improve electricity sector

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Energy Editor, News Editor, Tech/Telecomm Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 12, 2010) - Energy Professionals are applauding the McGuinty government for unequivocally putting an end to "SuperCorp."

"The decision to shelve the controversial Supercorp gives us the space to get on with rebuilding Ontario's electricity sector," said Rod Sheppard, president of the Society of Energy Professionals.

"Premier McGuinty and Minister Duncan have done the right thing here," said Sheppard. "Privatization of important Crown holdings just didn't make sense, either from a public policy or an economic perspective. I'm pleased and encouraged that the Liberal government has recognized that".

The province has been operating without a long term plan for electricity since the Integrated Power System Plan (IPSP) was shelved in 2008. The security, reliability and affordability of the electricity system is dependent on government, in consultation with sector stakeholders and the public, coming up with a sound vision, and adhering to it over the long term, said Sheppard.

Since December, 2009 the McGuinty government had been considering a "partial privatization" of four Crown corporations-Ontario Power Generation, Hydro One, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation-which together bring more than $4.3 billion annually into Ontario's coffers.

Although many have cited the lack of enthusiasm from pension funds and other institutional investors as the primary factor in derailing SuperCorp, recent polling commissioned by the Society, in partnership with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), reveals that the Ontario electorate is strongly against privatization.

Among the results of the late June public opinion survey of 900 Ontarians (+/- 3.3%, 19 time out of 20) conducted for the Society and OPSEU by Oraclepoll Research:
* Only 15% of those Ontarians surveyed supported the sale of Crown corporations
* 67.6% believe that a partial sale of assets would eventually result in full privatization
* More than 80% believe that it is good for governments to have sources of revenue other than taxes
* More than 60% believe that privatizing OPG or Hydro One would make it more difficult to guarantee the reliability and security of our electricity supply
* 46% said that they would be less likely to vote for a party supporting the privatization of Crown corporations, while only 6% said they would be more likely to vote for such a party

"It may be true that Bay Street didn't like this deal, but it's just as true that Main Street didn't like it either" said Sheppard. "Now that the final nail has been put in the coffin of SuperCorp, it's time to shift our attention to the real challenges and opportunities facing Ontario's electricity sector."

"We desperately need to invest in low-carbon nuclear electricity generation, both through new building and refurbishment of our existing plant. We need to address our aging transmission system and build new transmission lines for the government's FIT (feed-in tariff) and Micro-FIT programs. We need to look at the role of renewable generation and how it is best integrated with more affordable baseload hydro and nuclear generators," said Sheppard.

"With SuperCorp behind us, we look forward to working with the government constructively to help address these issues and meet the challenges ahead."

The Society of Energy Professionals represents more than 8,000 professional employees-engineers, scientists, middle management, information technology specialists, etc. -in Ontario's electricity sector. The Society supports the government's conservation and renewable-power goals, and believes the Ontario's economy and public needs affordable, reliable, and secure electricity. The Society of Energy Professionals is Local 160 of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers. /For further information: please contact Brian Robinson at (416) 716-6438/ IN: ENERGY, LABOUR, TELECOMM

Contact Information

  • Brian Robinson, Communications Officer, Society of Energy Professionals
    Primary Phone: 416-716-6438
    E-mail: brian@society.on.ca