Peterborough city councillors feel like they were jilted at altar by Hydro One

March 13, 2018

One city councillor says he’s “worried sick” about Peterborough now that a prospective deal to sell the city-owned electricity distribution system to Hydro One has fallen through.

“I’m worried sick about the implications for this community,” said Coun. Henry Clarke on Monday.

The wires, poles and transformers belonging to PDI will soon need expensive upgrades — and Clarke is concerned about how the city will afford those.

He wasn’t surprised that John Stephenson, president and CEO of Peterborough Utilities Group, stated that hydro rates may need to increase to make up for the collapse of the deal.

“I think in early 2019 we would need to be applying for a rate increase,” Stephenson told Peterborough This Week on Monday.

Hydro One had offered the city $105 million for the wires, poles, trucks and transformers that deliver electricity to Peterborough, Lakefield and Norwood.

It didn’t give any specific reason for walking away from negotiations on Friday. Clarke said he finds that appalling.

“They are playing games with us — and I don’t like it,” he said.

City council voted 6-5 to sell the utility at a meeting in December 2016.

But the city wouldn’t have received $105 million in the sale; once PDI’s debts were paid off, as well as taxes on the sale, the city would have been left with somewhere between $50 million and $55 million.

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The Peterborough and District Labour Council (PDLC) is the central body of union locals in the Peterborough area (Peterborough County plus Omemee) who are affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).

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