Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Early Childhood Education in Ontario: Bad Governance

In June of 2009, Charles E. Pascal, Special Advisor on Early Learning, wrote a Letter of Transmittal presenting a report he had been tasked with completing. It began:
“I am pleased to submit my report, With Our Best Future in Mind, which provides you and your government with a comprehensive plan of action regarding the implementation of your early learning vision. As per your direction, I have situated full-day learning for 4- and 5-year-olds in the broader context of moving further on Ontario’s Best Start goals for a seamless and integrated system to support children from 0 to 12 years old and their families.”

In December 2010, McGuinty is prepared to kill that plan entirely – implementing instead only his view of enriching his wife's union by stupidly putting teachers where none are required.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Seat Distribution in the House of Commons

RE: Jeffrey Simpson's Electoral injustice: Cities are getting the shaft

Statistics Canada, and the census, should not be the basis of seat distributions. For starters, census figures are heavily manipulated (they count a million fewer people than the population estimates they give, which they consider more accurate). Secondly, they have an assumption that non-citizen residents will become citizens in their forecasting of future electors..

This drives up the forecasted number of voters in BC and Ontario, both of which have much higher census counts than the registered voter counts, from Elections Canada, would indicate.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dim bulb in Ontario’s Highest Office

The Star has printed an editorial by their Premier.
Some rebutting is in order.

Mr. McGuinty was in the legislature prior to 2003. He is fully aware he is mostly making things up in his editorial. Between 2003 and 2005, Pickering 1, Pickering 4, Bruce 3 and Bruce 4 all came online – about 2600MW of nuclear production that had nothing to do with him. The generators were a stop gap plan alright – because the plan was already in motion and only required a stopgap temporarily.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Comment on the Draft Supply Mix Directive

I will comment on the directive, in this blog and anywhere else possible, but the title is directed at the reader. The last section of the directive notes a 45-day period for commenting started November 23rd, and public input is considered. I emphasize this as the Long Term Energy Plan , in Appendix Two, notes 2500 online responses were made as it was being formulated, between Sept 21st and Nov. 18th.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thoughts on the Long Term Energy Plan

I read through the Long Term Energy Plan on Tuesday. I've felt I should have strong opinions on it, but there was very little new it.

The plan is only about electricity, and contains no discussion about discouraging the use of natural gas, gasoline, or any other form of energy. That may be nitpicking , but immediately any truly environmental efficiency programs built around increased efficiency from more central heating/cooling servicing for new communities, combined heat and electricity, and electrification of transit seem off of the radar.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Supply Mix Impact on the Global Adjustment Mechanism

I've previously posted the graph indicating any price/MWh increase during the recession, and anemic recovery, was due to the global adjustment mechanism.

Demand decreases, so does the Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) at the system operator (IESO), but production is propped up by the guaranteed contracts at inflated rates, which are paid for by global adjustment (the difference between the contracted and market price).

Working with the IESO data,

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Economics Lab Blogs on Market Distortions

Assume I'm an economist.

I'd expect as demand dropped for a product, such as electricity, the price of that product would drop – as demand went up, so would price. Like this (HOEP is the Hourly Average Energy Price as per the IESO, which is the Independent Electricity System Operator):


If a province were to guarantee a rate to most of its suppliers, regardless of demand, I would expect supply wouldn't drop as significantly as demand would during an economic downturn. In Ontario the mechanism to recover the full charges paid to suppliers, from wholesale customers, is referred to as the Global Adjustment (by the IESO, which uses the shorthand GAM for the Global Adjustment). 

The Current and Future State of Electricity, as the OCEB comes to Ontario

Big news yesterday as the Finance Minister Duncan announced the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit (OCEB), which will bestow a credit of 10% of our bill upon us. The release by the government indicated the move to cleaner energy has been expensive, and would be so for another 5 years, so this should alleviate some of the pain being felt due to this noble endeavor; "Over the next five years, residential electricity prices are expected to rise by 46 per cent, after which price increases are expected to moderate as Ontario will have largely completed the transition to a cleaner, more reliable system."

I'm skeptical. Somebody said if you want to know where you are going, you need to know where you are, and where you've been. Seems like a good time for a big picture overview, a review of the current price drivers on the consumer side, on the industrial side, and to take stock in whether the government has any credibility in implying there is a planned destination, and a plan for arriving at it, in 5 years time.