当大部分安省省民都在忙于关注Hydro One出售案和应对最近的IPO（首次公开募股）时, Hydro One Brampton出售计划正在悄然推进。
While most Ontarians are pre-occupied with the sale of Hydro One and dealing with the latest IPO, the proposed sale of Hydro One Brampton is silently coming through our backdoors.
Unlike the IPO which is open to the public, the deal for the Merger above is to be determined by a small group of municipal politicians and not publicized to Ontarians.
On Nov 19, 2015 the City Council of Markham will be making an important decision on behalf of its residents. They will be voting for a merger of their Electricity Distributor with others and be “absorbed” by a much larger entity.
Residents should be concerned about this deal and get over to City Hall that evening at 7:00pm because the decision will have a direct impact on their monthly electricity bill. It can end up costing more to them if this new Company is not operating successfully afterwards.
主要电力分销公司的合并将分两个步骤完成。首先，属于万锦市以及其他一些市府的三家电力分销公司Enersource Corp., PowerStream Inc. 和Horizon Utilities Corp将进行合并，合并后的新公司将为近100万消费者提供服务。
This merger of major power distribution companies is to be accomplished in 2 steps. First, there will be a merger of 3 power distribution companies owed by several municipalities including Markham. This merger of Enersource Corp., PowerStream Inc. and Horizon Utilities Corp will be serving about one million customers.
第二步涉及合并后的新公司以$6.07亿元向安省政府收购Hydro One Brampton（只有15万用户）。据报道，安省政府最终将会放弃股权换取现金以用于资助基础设施开支计划，而不是持有包括Hydro One Brampton在内的合并实体的股权。
The second step will involve the Merged Company buying out Hydro One Brampton (with only 150,000 customers) from the Province of Ontario for $607 million. It was reported that the Ontario government would end up divesting its stake in exchange for cash to be used for the infrastructure spending plan, rather than a stake in the merged entity involving Hydro One Brampton.
Let us look at how this will affect Markham residents and ratepayers. To start off, 34% ownership of Powerstream is about to transform into a 16% ownership of the final Merger.
How much will it cost Markham? The partners will inject a total equity of $183 million, and take out new debt of $424 million. Some municipalities actually receive cash as a result of the deal, but Markham will inject $43million as our share. This means capital to the Province and downloading of debt to the City of Markham.
After incurring the extra debt of $43million, an optimistic upside decrease in monthly Hydro bills of $24-30 per year may be realized if all goes well after a number of years.
Synergy is supposed to save money for the new merger. However, this involves more than the simple consolidation of staff and facilities. Different enterprise software systems to manage client and invoices from all the partners will have to be unified. Data need to be transferred and integrated. Some IT and consulting companies will make tens of millions off this one activity alone and total success is never guaranteed.
Can we even reduce the number of repair trucks, repair staff and equipment through this merger? Given the geographic coverage required to satisfy and service the clients in periodic maintenance and Emergencies, I don’t think so.
So will Markham be getting ahead with this deal a decade later? Are we better off not to jump on the bandwagon? The answer is plain to see – this is a high risk venture with a low prospect for returns.
The entire merger project appears to be a political task. Municipal politicians should be practicing non-partisan politics. Regardless of their political party affiliations, they need to be reminded not to put their political party’s wishes ahead of the residents’ welfare. Councillors are elected to look after residents and not that of the provincial government in power. This is a business decision and not a political one. Council members must stick to their conscience and do their job working for the residents. No one can serve two masters.
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