Watson turns down Ontario's Hydro One offer for binding arbitration
Good Afternoon – I previously shared this statement regarding Councillor Blais’ Hydro Ottawa motion tabled at Ottawa City Council. The motion has now passed and this statement still stands.
The following can be attributed to me, spokesperson for the Minister of Energy:
Hydro Ottawa and its shareholder, the City of Ottawa, were offered a solution to address the concerns of Ottawa residents who receive their electricity service as part of the Hydro One distribution network. Since amalgamation Mayors Chiarelli, O’Brien and Watson all engaged Hydro Ottawa to acquire Hydro One’s customers within Ottawa city limits. Discussions occurred, but an agreement could not be reached on the price to be paid by Hydro Ottawa.
Over the course of the last 18 months, Hydro Ottawa was offered binding arbitration, which would have determined a fair price for Ottawa and several other cities, for the transfer of the customer base and associated infrastructure. This solution would have been fair to all electricity ratepayers in Ontario, including those within City of Ottawa boundaries. The current Mayor refused this suggested process and to our knowledge this solution was not discussed at Council.
The Ontario Government certainly sympathizes with the Hydro One customers profiled in recent media reports. However, the process offered, and rejected, was a fair and reasonable process to resolve the issue, which became a question of determining the price to be paid.
Jennifer Beaudry, Press Secretary
Office of the Hon. Bob Chiarelli | Minister of Energy
Desk | 416-325-2690
Mobile | 416-319-3573