The Ontario Hydro-Electric System

March 1, 1926

Report Outline
Genesis of Ontario Hydro Movement
Ontario Hydro-Electric Laws
Hydro Development in Ontario
Hydro Rates and Finances
Criticism and Defence of Ontario System

In New York and Pennsylvania, the two largest power consuming states, proposals for radical changes in the existing systems of electric utility operation and regulation have been submitted by the governors to the legislatures for action at their present sessions. While based upon opposing principles, both proposals grow out of the rapid linking together of power facilities in regional systems since 1920, and the accompanying possibility of an interstate power monopoly beyond the control of present state authority.

Governor Pinchot, in the Pennsylvania giant power plan, has recommended fundamental changes in the prevailing methods of public regulation to meet the conditions resulting from the technical revolution in the power industry. Under the Pinchot plan the power properties would remain in private ownership, but would be operated under state licenses and new forms of regulation designed to yield maximum benefits to the public. Interstate commerce in power would be subject to regulation by joint state authority under interstate treaties to be negotiated with neighboring states.

The Smith Public Ownership Plan

The plan recommended by Governor Smith, across the line in New York, calls for public development of the principal sources of future power supply. In Pennsylvania these sources are the coal mines. In New York, they are the water powers of the Adirondacks and the border waters of the Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers. Governor Smith in each of his last three annual messages has recommended the repeal of laws enacted by the legislatures of 1921 and 1922 permitting the leasing of the state's water powers to private companies for development.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Electric Power
Regional Political Affairs: Canada
Waterways and Harbors