Edmonton privatizes public power utility behind closed doors
Civic stakeholders, competitors find out about deal only after finalization.
EDMONTON, May 9, 2009— In his annual State of the City address on Tuesday, Mayor Stephen Mandel challenged the community to do a better job of envisioning what Edmonton will look like a couple of decades from now.
Well, this morning, one can't help but wonder if two very regrettable ingredients of that future will be even more voter disengagement from the political process and less public consultation and debate about major policy decisions.
Because at the very time Mandel was giving his report and pep talk at a Chamber of Commerce lunch, he knew that three short days later, voters would learn about a watershed council decision he wasn't mentioning - a decision that the future of Edmonton would not include public ownership of the power-generating side of EPCOR's business.
Behind closed doors, Edmonton city council had already made an irrevocable move to allow the gradual privatization of these assets in a new corporate entity called Capital Power Corporation. It remained only for EPCOR CEO Don Lowry to begin explaining this fait accompli to the people who actually own the company he works for - the citizens of Edmonton - which he did Friday morning...
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Links and sources
EPCOR's bolt out of the blue, by the Edmonton Journal, May 9 2009
Posted: May 12, 2009
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