ELECTRIC EMPIRE: THE INSIDE STORY OF ONTARIO HYDRO
Volume 11 Number 5.
Ontario Hydro is the second largest electric utility in North America, and it is the largest financial institution in Canada after the five major banks. It also accounts for over seventy per cent of all capital spending of all levels of government in Ontario. But what is most amazing of all is its current fifty per cent surplus of electricity, coupled with a $15 billion debt and plans to spend $80 billion further by the year 2000, mainly upon new nuclear power plants. At the same time, Ontario still has numerous potential hydro-power projects that could supply new energy at a fraction of the cost of nuclear plants.
Paul McKay has written a readable, well-researched study of the growth of this giant corporation. This is a disturbing book, detailing the mismanagement of the Ontario economy by successive governments but particularly the Davis government since 1971. The story is one of a crown corporation with immense influence, making costly decisions to build unneeded power stations, ignoring declining energy consumption, and then through massive advertising, attempting to create a need for electricity. It finally is a story of maddening waste and political collusion if not corruption.
The book deserves an audience outside Ontario, as it is an excellent primer on how governments often work, the energy crisis, and alternatives to nuclear power. The book has excellent tables throughout and some interesting solutions for the energy problems of the 1980s and 1990s. Highly recommended for senior grades in high schools and all academic and public libraries.
David Chadwick, Norwary House H. S., Norway House, MB.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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