Fortis Inc., a $56 billion company which owns 10 electric and gas utilities, is seeking a second handout from Canadian taxpayers to finance its proposed Lake Erie transmission line. If built, this transmission line will enable increased polluting gas-fired electricity exports from Ontario to Pennsylvania.

As the Globe and Mail reported on April 13th, Catherine McKenna’s Canada Infrastructure Bank is providing Fortis with a $655 million low-interest loan to subsidize the construction of its Lake Erie transmission line.

To add insult to injury, Ontario’s Energy Minister, Greg Rickford, has directed the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to negotiate a contract with Fortis that will require Ontario’s electricity consumers to backstop Fortis’ profits if the project is not financially viable.

We fail to understand why Ministers McKenna and Rickford believe that Canadian taxpayers should subsidize the profits of a $56 billion company that wants to build a new transmission line that will increase greenhouse gas pollution in Ontario and lower electricity rates in Pennsylvania.

Fortunately, it appears that Minister Rickford also has doubts. Specifically, he has also directed the IESO to report back to him by December 31, 2021 on:

  1. the domestic and global greenhouse gas impacts of the proposed Lake Erie transmission line; and
  2. the potential for alternative new transmission lines with neighbouring jurisdictions (e.g., Quebec, Manitoba) to provide greater benefits to Ontario.

What you can do

Please contact Minister Rickford and tell him to direct the IESO to focus on expanding transmission links with Quebec and Manitoba, not on bolstering Fortis’ profits with an unneeded transmission line to Pennsylvania.

Send a message

Please pass this message on to your friends.

Thank you!

Angela Bischoff, Director

P.S.   We are still waiting to hear back from Federal Minister Catherine McKenna on why she thinks the Canada Infrastructure Bank should provide Fortis with a $655 million low-interest loan for its proposed Lake Erie transmission line.

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