Posts Tagged ‘Ontario Energy Board’

Critic says new Enbridge fee 'outrageous'

February 18, 2008

Editor: This is what happens when business has too much influence over govt. The OEB has, for all intents and purposes, overturned a Supreme Court Decision.

Enbridge is building a huge wind farm in Bruce County Ont. They said they want to be good corporate neighbors. I feel better about Enbridge after reading this – don’t you.

The Provincial Govt. just handed out 25 million of your tax dollars to universities to try and figure out how to integrate the energy from wind farms into the grid.

There is a video link of the story at the bottom of the page.

Time for the people of this province to show some

OUTRAGE!

Critic says new Enbridge fee ‘outrageous’

Enbridge is set to charge its Ontario customers a new fee to help pay the costs of an out-of-court settlement. In 2004, the Supreme Court ruled against the natural gas company — for charging unfair fees.

The Supreme Court found that the company had billed illegal late-payment penalties from 1994 to 2002. The fees had been approved by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB).

The company agreed to pay $22 million in a settlement, but the OEB said Enbridge now has the right to reclaim that money, even if it’s from the same customers it overcharged.

Gord Garland, who launched the lawsuit against Enbridge over the late fees, said the company is again mistreating its customers.

“It’s outrageous that a company engaged in and essentially convicted of a criminal act would then ask its customers to pay for that act,” he told CTV News.

In the Supreme Court ruling, Justice Frank Iacobucci wrote that “the late-payment penalties were collected in contravention of the Criminal Code,” which trumps any OED ruling.

The OEB has also approved the new fee. In response to questions from CTV News, the OEB issued a statement explaining its decision. It noted that:

  • Costs had been incurred prudently;
  • Enbridge was acting in accordance with provincial government guidelines;
  • The late payment penalties Enbridge was charging were approved by the Board at that time; and,
  • the Ontario Superior Court had ruled in favour of Enbridge on two prior occasions, before being overruled by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Lawyers said that because Enbridge is a utility, it’s guaranteed ‘cost recovery.’

“What the OEB does is determine what the costs were and allow the utility to recover them from the customers,” said regulatory expert George Vegh.

The new fee may be only a few dollars, but Garland said customers will be furious.

“That is money being taken out of Enbridge’s customers’ pockets and being put into Enbridge’s pockets,” he said.

Link to video

CTV

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Green energy plan could wither in court: native bands

January 18, 2008

Two native bands are threatening to tie up the Ontario government’s long-range power plans using lengthy court delays.

In a submission to the Ontario Energy Board, people from the Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territories argued the province has not lived up to its legal requirement to consult with them on the plan’s impact.

The lawyer for the two communities, near Wiarton on the Bruce Peninsula, spoke earlier this week at board hearings into the Ontario Power Authority’s proposal for new energy sources.

Arthur Pape reminded board members of the Supreme Court of Canada ruling that Queen’s Park has a legal duty to consult with First Nations on the impact the power plan will have on their lives.

“There’s no way the Saugeen Ojibway could participate meaningfully with government to ensure that this part of the plan could be implemented in a way that protects their rights,” Pape told the board.

Pape says there’s still time to negotiate compensation that may be owed to First Nations for the impact of new wind farms, hydro dams and transmission lines on their hunting and fishing rights and way of life.

But he warned that if the government fails to negotiate, it could mean lengthy delays in getting the plan approved.

“If the government won’t work with them to find a way to accommodate those things, they may find themselves applying to the courts, and asking for the courts to not let this plan be implemented,” he told CBC News.

Neither the government, nor the Ontario Power Authority, which drew up the plan, would comment on Pape’s submissions.

The OPA’s new plan, which calls for the provincial government to spend $26.5 billion on nuclear power plants, still requires regulatory approval.

The plan also proposes doubling the amount of renewable energy on the grid by 2025 and phasing out coal-fired generation by the end of 2014.

Several energy providers are considering building more wind farms on the Bruce Peninsula to bring power to the south of the province.

Much of that energy will require new transmission lines to be built.