I suppose eating a meal without having to cook it is “environmentally friendly”. I also assume by not using any electricity and freezing to death in an unheated house is an environmentally friendly gesture also!
At least that’s the way eco-idiocy translates a shortage of heat and hydro and one must wonder why people like David Suzuki, Al Gore or David Miller would set a good example by going to live in a cave somewhere and show the world how great it is the live “an environmental friendly life”!
This is the type of personage that runs our present Ontario Government and your Toronto Hydro.
Feel better now that you know your being an “eco-friendly citizen” by not complaining about having to live like a homeless person on the street?
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Toronto Hydro: 12 days of Christmas and an ice storm
With most residents of Ontario now reconnected to the grid after the ice storm, perhaps it’s time to have a look at how well the crisis was handled by various parties. This review focuses on Toronto, the Liberal stronghold, where about 60% of those who suffered without power live.
We all applaud the efforts of the linesmen from Toronto Hydro, Manitoba, Oakville, Oshawa, Ottawa ,Windsor, etc. who worked long hours in frigid temperatures to reconnect the more than 300,000 (over 40%) of Toronto Hydro’s customers affected by downed power lines. A valiant effort indeed and a big thank you!
While thanking the linesmen, we should reflect on what may have caused the problems!
Toronto’s former Mayor David Miller
and councillors who supported him, decided that the “tree canopy
” in Toronto must be bigger (presumably to absorb the CO2
caused by “climate change”). A report related to the link above had the following remarks: “In 2007, Toronto City Council adopted a plan to significantly expand the City’s forest cover to between 30-40%. Parks, Forestry and Recreation responded with a Forestry Service Plan aimed at managing our existing growing stock, protecting the forest and planting more trees.
This resulted in the controlled pruning of trees on private and city property. The untrimmed trees turned out to be the principal cause of so many hydro lines being knocked out as branches broke with the weight of the ice, and brought the lines down. And, the lack of buried cables throughout Toronto’s suburbs meant the bulk of affected residents were in those communities, whereas Toronto centre condo dwellers were largely unaffected. How many lines could have been buried with the money spent by Toronto Hydro on valueless “smart” meters, coupons for CFL bulbs, programmable thermostats, solar panels, and the iconic Exhibition Place wind turbine?
Another interesting aspect of the ice storm is that the Toronto Hydro “brass” seem to have been unprepared. Now lots of us don’t pay attention to weather forecasts, but when Toronto Hydro executives ignore weather reports, the consequences are much more severe.
Just before, Toronto Hydro was promoting a “12 days of Christmas
” theme posting daily recipes of Christmas treats that required no cooking on their website with instruction videos. The “cook” presenting the recipes was Toronto Hydro spokesperson Tanya Bruckmueller who during the crisis was regularly seen as one of the two faces of Toronto Hydro. Those 12 recipes and the message “you don’t need electricity to cook” for Christmas disappeared as soon as the ice storm devastation became obvious.
Ms. Bruckmueller and her boss, Anthony Haines
, were often seen interviewed dressed in Toronto Hydro’s linesmen garb
which I’m sure didn’t mean they were out in the cold hooking us back up to the grid—it was simply their way of treating the “catastrophic event” as a photo op. The photo above shows Premier Wynne with Haines, she in Hydro One gear, he in Toronto Hydro garb. Wynne also used the event as a photo op and was photographed handing out taxpayer-funded boxes of food.
The Liberal government showed they could be insulting to those without power too, in a press release
issued by Jim Bradley, Minister of the Environment
on December 22, 2013 when two million Ontarians were without electricity. The release suggested we “Get Into the Holiday Spirit with These Easy, Environmentally Friendly Tips”. It assumed we were all flying around the stores trying to buy gifts when the reality was, many of us were simply wondering when we would have power and heat. The press release finished with this zinger: “We can all enjoy a joyous holiday season with environmentally friendly holiday traditions.”
There is apparently nothing more “environmentally friendly” than freezing in the dark and trying to figure out what to eat. I think most of us who suffered though this event would not wish to make it a “tradition” as the Liberal Minister suggested!
The fact is, Ontario ratepayers are now on the hook for billions to pay foreign wind and solar developers when we could have spent money pruning trees and burying hydro lines.
Another fact: Toronto Hydro whittled down the number of households remaining without power and then discovered that they had missed many. This occurred as their call centre became functional again, and people phoned it to let them know. So why couldn’t they identify those outages using those “smart meters”? It appears the ability of Toronto Hydro’s smart meters is limited to billing customers on a time-of-use (TOU) basis only! They even asked people to “turn on your lights” to determine if power had been restored.
An amusing article titled “A day in the life of Toronto’s hydro czar” appeared in the Toronto Star December 28, 2013
which made Anthony Haines sound almost saint like. Perhaps the linesmen and customers have a different view. When the Ontario Energy Board declined Toronto Hydro’s request for a large rate increase in early 2012, Haines tried to hand 460 workers their pink slips and the union spent February 27, 2012 at a rally
protesting the planned layoffs at Toronto Hydro’s head office on Carlton Street.
The TorStar article about the “Czar” finishes with this: “It is 1:30 p.m. and there is plenty still to do, but he is hoping he’ll get home in time for Christmas dinner with his family.” We will never know if Haines planned to chow down on one of Tanya Bruckmueller’s “electricity free” recipes.
January 7, 2014