Toronto, Canada (KINY) Premiere Doug Ford said it was a great day for Ontario as he announced the entire board of Hydro One would go.
Ford who campaigned on an issue of getting rid of Mayo Schmidt the chairman of Hydro One, was ecstatic when Schmidt announced his retirement. "Its a great day for the people of Ontario and a great day for businesses. While I campaigned the number one issue was the Hydro rates. When I talked to thousands of people, people came up to me in tears with their hydro bill saying they could afford it and were choosing between heating and eating."
Ford said hundreds of businesses told him they couldn't keep their doors open due to high electric costs.
Hydro One intends to purchased the parent company of Alaska Electric Light and Power, Avista. That sale was approved by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska with conditions. They sale has not closed yet.
AEL&P Spokesperson Debbie Driscoll minimized the possible impacts of this move in a statement, "AEL&P remains focused on our operations and providing clean reliable power to the community of Juneau. Actions in Ontario will not impact our ability to serve our customers.
Schmidt retired as CEO on Wednesday. Ford said he promised the CEO would be gone and the board would be gone during his campaign, "There gone, there done. We are turning the corner. We will reduce rates by 12 percent and make our businesses more competitive and take the burden off the people of Ontario. A promise is made and a promise is kept."
Ford was critical of Schmidt's $6 million annual salary. He noted that Schmidt will not receive any severance package. He said this will be a great move for the future.
"We put money in the people's pocket and not the government's pocket. The severance for the CEO was absolutely zero. We are going to respect the taxpayers," he added.
Ford said they will have a new board, a new CEO, a new chairman, and make the rates more competitive. "We can compete not only across Canada but against the United States and world wide."
As far as how this situation could affect Juneau, Debbie Driscoll of AEL&P says "actions in Ontario will not impact our ability to serve our customers. We will continue focusing on what we do every day – managing and operating our utility so we can continue to provide safe, reliable, energy to Juneau."
She also told us that the state of the sale is awaiting approval in 3 of the 5 states that are served. Alaska and Montana have both approved the sale, but they are still waiting on Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Driscoll says that the sale is scheduled to close later this year.