NDP claims Bruce Power got $500 million more than warranted

TORONTO, Ontario – The New Democrats are demanding answers about a decision by the Ontario Power Authority that they say cost electricity ratepayers up to $500 million.

NDP energy critic Peter Tabuns says Ontario electricity ratepayers were entitled to a rebate of up to $500 million after privately-run Bruce Power missed a key deadline last year, but it was not hit with a penalty in the contract with the government.

Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli says Bruce invoked what’s known as a “force majeure” claim, stating that something happened beyond their control that caused the company to miss the contract deadline.

Chiarelli says he doesn’t know the details of the incident at the nuclear plant, and he’s pretty sure the $500 million figure is wrong, but he doesn’t have a correct one.

Read More: For complete coverage of politics in Ontario. 

TransCanada Enterprises, the company the Liberals promised to make “whole” when they cancelled a gas plant in Oakville at a cost of up to $810 million, is one of the major private sector partners in Bruce Power.

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Tabuns says whenever TCE runs into trouble in Ontario, it’s able to convince the government that ratepayers should “cough up a bit more” and company shareholders must be protected.

“The government passed up an opportunity to get a half a billion dollars back from a private power company,” Tabuns said in the legislature. “Why can’t we see the details that justify that decision?”

Chiarelli told reporters to check with the government-run Ontario Power Authority for details on the deal with Bruce Power. The OPA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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