Massachusetts gets a great power deal from Quebec. What is Ontario waiting for?

On the heels of signing an agreement to supply Massachusetts with enough power to meet the needs of one million homes at the barn burner price of 3 to 5.3 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), Hydro Quebec says it is still ready to make similar deals with Ontario and New York.

Meanwhile, Ontario muddles forward with plans to rebuild aging nuclear reactors at tremendous expense and is about to hold hearings on the safety of keeping the 47-year-old Pickering Nuclear Station (surrounded by 2.2 million people) running for up to another 10 years. As a result, Ontario Power Generation has told the Ontario Energy Board that it will need to raise its price of nuclear power to 16.5 cents per kWh.

Hydro Quebec has already offered Ontario power at a great price (5 cents kWh) only to have this province respond with the bizarre claim that the offer wasn’t competitive enough — despite it being less than one third the cost of rebuilding and extending our aging nuclear fleet.

Now Quebec is making it clear it won’t wait forever for Ontario to come to its senses and will prioritize deals with those jurisdictions that are ready to reap the benefits of its low-cost, renewable power right now.

With five months until the next provincial election, could this be the moment when our opposition parties finally get serious about offering real solutions to dealing with rising electricity costs and begin to champion making a deal with Quebec? Are there any candidates for the PC leadership ready to offer real help to Ontario power users by promising to quickly ink a deal with Quebec? Will the NDP make a money-saving Quebec deal part of its “pocketbook” promises to help average Ontarians? The next few months should be very interesting.

Please contact Interim PC Leader Vic Fedeli [vic.fedeli@pc.ola.org], potential PC Leadership candidate Caroline Mulroney [caroline@carolinemulroney.ca] and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath [ahorwath-qp@ndp.on.ca] and ask them to champion a long-term deal with Hydro Quebec to lower our electricity bills.

Thank you.

-Angela Bischoff, Director