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Ontario Government Proposing To Merge Energy Agencies

Ontario Chamber Report: The Ontario government is proposing to merge the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) into a single organization. The mandate of the new merged agency would be to establish market rules and align contracts, thereby integrating the functions of the two organizations.

The 2012 Budget noted that the Government will be conducting a comprehensive review of the electricity sector and its agencies. In addition to the study which will begin immediately, the Government has announced it will launch an Ontario Distribution Sector Panel led by Murray Elston, and will include David McFadden and Floyd Laughren. The panel will consult with municipalities, LDCs, the Electricity Distributors Association and other energy experts on a variety of issues, including:
•    Potential long- and short-term financial savings associated with electricity agency consolidation
•    Benefits for ratepayers
•    Long- and short-term operational efficiencies
•    Potential risk

The Ontario Distribution Sector Panel will report back to the Minister of Energy within a year.

About the panel members:
Murray Elston is an executive and former politician. He was a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1981 to 1994, and was a cabinet minister in the government of David Peterson. He briefly served as interim leader of the Liberal Party from July to November 1991. From 1992 to 1994 he served as Opposition House Leader in the House of Commons, before resigning as MPP. Most recently he served as Vice-President of Corporate Affairs for Bruce Power from 2009 until 2011.

Floyd Laughren is a former politician. He sat in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1971 to 1998 as a member of the Ontario New Democratic Party, and served as Finance Minister and Deputy Premier in the government of Bob Rae. Mr. Laughren now sits on the Board of Governors for Laurentian University.

David McFadden is a Canadian lawyer, businessman and former politician. He served in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1985 to 1987, as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party. McFadden served as a director of the Toronto Board of Trade from 1993 to 2001. Mr. McFadden is a partner in Gowlings’ Toronto office, Chair of the Firm’s International group, a member of the Firm’s Board of Trustees, Chair of Gowlings’ International Management Committee and of the Gowlings International Strategic Advisory Group (GISAG).