Recent events have given me good reason to update my previous post about privatizing power here in Ontario. In that article I discussed some criteria for being for or against privatization, and mentioned some of the benefits and some of the risks.
My article had been inspired by an earlier one written by James Bow. He has pointed out that I didn't interpret his original article in the way he intended. He's gone on to say that his position is not that power should be subsidized (as I read it) but rather that he feels power is best distributed at cost, by a crown corporation. He expects that this would result in cheaper power for everyone, which would benefit us all.
This is fine with me, if it's true. I think (based on the same rationale found in my original article) that if the public sector can provide power at a lower cost than the private sector (without subsidy, or publicly-assumed debt), then this is the better choice. However, I have no interest in seeing energy subsidized in Ontario.
As well, in Tuesday's Globe and Mail, it was mentioned that:
|The Privatization of Power 2|
The Association of Major Power Consumers in Ontario (AMPCO), whose members include Ford, Dofasco and other monster juice suckers, says the average industrial price, including delivery charges, has gone from $62 a megawatt-hour before the wholesale market opened a year ago to $76 -- a 22-per-cent increase.These major industrial users of electricity are not included in the cap that Ernie Eves imposed for small businesses and residential users when prices were getting too high, so they're still subject to these high rates.
The question remains: was the $62 price a subsidized one? If it wasn't, then the privatization of power in Ontario has been truly bungled. It would represent free-market advocates in the business community damaging their own interests while pursuing an ideological agenda.