•   
  •   
  •   

MoneyHydro One takeover of Avista scrapped by Washington State over Ford's political 'interference'

06:40  06 december  2018
06:40  06 december  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

Premier Doug Ford says he’s not to blame after U.S. regulator zaps Hydro One takeover of Avista

Premier Doug Ford says he’s not to blame after U.S. regulator zaps Hydro One takeover of Avista Premier Doug Ford insists he’s not to blame for U.S. regulators zapping Hydro One’s $6.7 billion takeover of Avista Corp., which will cost Ontario taxpayers tens of millions in cancellation fees and reduced share value. In his first public statement since Washington state rejected the Ontario utility’s proposed takeover of Avista citing political meddling by Ford’s government, the premier was unrepentant. “Upon assuming office we acted decisively to keep our promise to Ontario voters,” Ford said Thursday, referring to his decision to get rid of Mayo Schmidt, the Hydro One CEO he derided as the “$6-million man” for his hefty salary.

The sell-off in Avista Corporation shares due to the politically motivated dismissal of Hydro One Political Interference In Hydro One Provides Attractive Entry Point In This Takeover Target. off due to an issue in Washington State , Avista shares have traded over for the majority of time since While on the campaign trail, Doug Ford made no mention of the acquisition of Avista and had no

Mr. Ford has his own favoured candidates to lead Hydro One , including current Toronto Hydro CEO Anthony Haines, according to government and Hydro One executives declined to comment on the CEO search. Mr. Ford is a former Toronto city councilor and worked closely with Mr. Haines in the past.

Hydro One takeover of Avista scrapped by Washington State over Ford's political 'interference'© Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press Washington state regulators say they have denied Hydro One Ltd.'s proposed takeover of Avista Corp., citing political interference. Washington state regulators say they have denied Hydro One Ltd.'s proposed takeover of Avista Corp., citing political interference in the Ontario utility by the Doug Ford government.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission says it found the deal, which valued Avista at $6.7 billion, to not be in the public interest after it became clear that the Ontario government was willing to interfere in the utility.

"The proposed transaction cannot be said to be consistent with the public interest when it is evident that decisions affecting Hydro One's and Avista's business operations and financial integrity are subject to political considerations," the commission stated in its order.

Fire at substation leaves thousands without power in East Kildonan

Fire at substation leaves thousands without power in East Kildonan Lights are out for thousands of Manitoba Hydro customers in East Kildonan.

A state law about foreign ownership of a utility may be the stumbling block, writes Jennifer Wells. Boise lawyer Norman Semanko is on the phone for what may be an eleventh-hour conversation about the proposed takeover of Avista Corp. by Hydro One . And this: “There does not appear to be a limit on the Province of Ontario’ s authority over Hydro One .” Political interference remains “a real risk.”

The public utility commission in Washington state , where Avista serves just less than 400,000 gas and electric customers, is evaluating the protections Hydro One agreed to earlier this year in order to get its acquisition of Avista approved. Hydro One said in July, 2017, it would pay .7-billion to buy Avista

Political considerations may motivate provincial leaders to make decisions and take actions in the future that may cause harm instead of promoting the best interests of Avista, its customers and Hydro One's non-government shareholders, the order reads.

Ontario is Hydro One's largest shareholder

In September 2017, Avista and Hydro One filed a joint application with the commission to approve the companies' proposed merger agreement.

Under the original proposal, Avista would have become a wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro One, an electric transmission and distribution utility headquartered in Toronto.

Avista would have maintained its existing corporate headquarters in Spokane, and continued to operate in Washington under the same name, management team and employee structure.

Heavy ice cuts power to thousands in southwest Manitoba

Heavy ice cuts power to thousands in southwest Manitoba Frost and ice are being blamed for power outages affecting nearly 5,000 homes and businesses in southwestern Manitoba. "We have extensive ice and frost on power lines with a number of lines down due to weight of ice," the utility tweeted Sunday morning. Manitoba Hydro tweeted that the outage began around 7 p.m. Saturday night. But as of 11 a.m. Sunday, 4,710 customers remained without power. Some of the biggest outages: Prairie Lakes, 22 outages, 1,086 customers. Cartwright-Roblin, 24 outages, 241 customers. Deloraine-Winchester, 6 outages, 468 customers.

Ford ousts Hydro One boss and the utility’ s board of directors. Opinion | Jennifer Wells: Hydro One ’ s takeover of U. S . utility sparks customer backlash: ‘This is an incredibly bad idea’. “Increased political interference in Ontario could negatively impact Hydro One ’ s proposed acquisition of Avista

Hydro One ’ s impending acquisition of Avista may work for shareholders, but it’ s far from clear that the Here’ s Lisa McCumber, resident of Hayden: “I am stating my objection to this outrageous Hydro One charges excessive fees to the people it provides for, this is a monopoly beyond even what

In March, the companies, UTC staff and nine other parties reached a settlement on the proposed merger that would have provided more than $30 million in rate credits to Washington ratepayers over a five-year period, provided more than $11 million toward low-income programs, provided for accelerated depreciation of Colstrip power plants in Montana, and set aside funds for economic transition efforts in Colstrip.

The parties also asserted their agreement offered financial protections for Avista customers and insulated Avista from Hydro One's largest shareholder, the province of Ontario.

Hydro One, which is 47 per cent owned by the Ontario government, had assured in testimony on the Avista deal that the province was a passive investor that would not exert political pressure on the company.

But the U.S. regulator said the promised benefits of the deal, including rate credits, are inadequate to compensate for risks Avista customers would face.

Shocking scam: Fraudster pretending to be from BC Hydro attempts to extort business

Shocking scam: Fraudster pretending to be from BC Hydro attempts to extort business It's an old scam with a new twist. Fraudsters are targeting small businesses pretending to be from BC Hydro and threatening to disconnect their power unless they send in cash cards — or prepaid credit cards or even Bitcoin — right away.

The political interference in Hydro One has generated wariness among Washington ratepayers and utility Remember that the history of Avista , which traces its roots to Washington Water Power Co. and The rate concerns are well-founded, given Premier Ford ’ s own comments about customers in

Avista Marketplace. Find the best price, energy efficiency information, consumer ratings, and buy all in one place. State law requires you to call at least two working days before you dig. Avista At A Glance. Contact Us. Hydro One to acquire Avista .

"Provincial government interference in Hydro One's affairs, the risk of which has been shown by events to be significant, could result in direct or indirect harm to Avista if it were acquired by Hydro One, as proposed," the commission stated in Wednesday's order.

"This, in turn, could diminish Avista's ability to continue providing safe and reliable electrical and natural gas service to its customers in Washington. Avista's customers would be no better off with this transaction than they would be without it.

Hydro One takeover of Avista scrapped by Washington State over Ford's political 'interference'© Christopher Katsarov/Canadian Press Ontario Premier Doug Ford has pointed to last year's auditor general report as evidence that he could find $6 billion a year in spending efficiencies without cutting any jobs. The Ford government hailed the leadership changes at Hydro One at the time as a "great day" for the province after heavily criticizing the company's management while on the campaign trail.

Hydro One is Ontario's largest electricity transmission and distribution provider with more than 1.3 million customers.

In an brief email statement emailed to CBC News, a spokesperson for Energy Minister Greg Rickford said the government will always stand up for the largest shareholder of Hydro One, the people of Ontario.

Driver flees scene after car crashes into hydro poles in Etobicoke: police

Driver flees scene after car crashes into hydro poles in Etobicoke: police The crash happened around midnight near The Westway and Trehorne Drive just west of Royal York Road. Police said the vehicle collided into two hydro poles and ended up flipped over on someone's front lawn. READ MORE: Driver, 53, dies after single-vehicle crash in Brampton Authorities said the driver of the vehicle fled the scene. No injuries were reported. Toronto Hydro said up to 385 customers were left without electricity immediately following the collision.

Washington state regulators are seeking more information regarding the proposed sale of Avista Both Hydro One and Avista say they are still moving forward with the deal, but regulators in And, as indicated by Washington ' s information request, the prospect of government interference in Hydro

Utility’ s failure to foresee its political peril prompted Washington State to delay its consideration of the Avista deal by four months. In a May meeting with U. S . regulators charged with considering Hydro One ' s proposed acquisition of Avista , former president and chief executive Mayo Schmidt played

Hydro One takeover of Avista scrapped by Washington State over Ford's political 'interference'© CBC Mitzie Hunter, Finance Critic for the Ontario Liberal Party says premier Ford's meddling in Hydro One continues to cost Ontarians. "We are confident that the renewed leadership and direction at Hydro One will make responsible business decisions that are in the best interest of their shareholders," Sydney Stonier said.

Ontario Liberal finance critic Mitzie Hunter said Ford's "reckless conduct" at Hydro One continues to damage the province's interests.

"The state of Washington blocked the sale of their utility to protect themselves from Doug Ford's political interference. The fact that this could even be a factor is a disgrace," Hunter said.

She added that the message from this decision should be clear to the premier: Stop meddling at Hydro One.

"Doug Ford needs to understand that processes are in place for a reason; vindictiveness and cronyism are no way to run a province," Hunter said.

Trudeau says he had advance notice of Huawei executive's arrest.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa had a few days' prior notice of the arrest of an executive from the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei following U.S. allegations the company violated sanctions on Iran. Authorities conducted the arrest without political interference, Trudeau said Thursday in his first comments on the arrest of Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, which has further inflamed tensions between the U.S. and China. Meng was arrested in Vancouver on Saturday and is being sought for extradition by the U.S. A bail hearing has been set for Friday.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
This is interesting!