The Society cheered when the McGuinty government created an evidence-based power system planning process. It appeared to be the beginning of a new era where experts at the IESO would provide objective data that stakeholders with all opinions could access, challenge and use to propose competing long-term visions for our province at the Ontario Energy Board, where stakeholders themselves would face scrutiny, too.
But years later, in spite of good legislation, the expert-driven approach lost out to the lure of politically motivated decision-making. Not one single Integrated Power System Plan went through the process the McGuinty government created in legislation. And now the current government is set to usher in new legislation, Bill 135, that would codify the highly political and opaque process that has been in use during development of the last two Long-term Energy Plans.
The Society met with decision-makers and made strong arguments in favour of not just maintaining the current legislation but actually implementing it. In spite of those efforts the government is moving Bill 135 forward and it has now been sent for third reading.
On February 22, President Scott Travers presented The Society’s position to the Standing Committee on General Government.
“(I)t is the opinion of the Society of United Professionals that the proposed planning process in Bill 135 is inferior to the current IPSP process as outlined in the legislation, and there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the IPSP process will not serve the people of Ontario well if it is followed,” Travers told the committee.
The presentation was compelling enough to draw questions from MPPs of each party.
The full transcript of The Society’s appearance, including questions and answers, at the Standing Committee on General government is available here.