It’s time for Canada to reform the regulation of its electric industry.

In this Commentary, author Gordon Weil reviews the options to improve regulations governing Canada’s electrical industry. He says while it is not necessary to go as far as a single national regulator, there does need to be reform so all provinces are treated fairly.

Freeing the Flow: Proposals for Reform of Canadian Electric Industry Regulation identifies seven essential elements for reform of the existing system.

Weil says the current system of regulation discriminates against Newfoundland and Labrador, PEI and Nova Scotia, because the current federal system for review of interprovincial transactions does not function and offers no real protection for any province. He says there is no federal regulatory regime applying to transactions from one province, across another, to connect with the US market.

Freeing the Flow also points out regional regulation does not exist, but is possible and should be pursued without imposing a single, Canadian system.

“The system of regulation in effect in the United States with FERC is neither necessary nor desirable in Canada,” says Weil. “However, reforms are needed to the Canadian system to increase compatibility, opportunity and efficiency.”

AIMS President and CEO Charles Cirtwill says the Commentary reflects much of the research his Institute has conducted in the past decade.

“We need to lower the barriers to interprovincial trade across the board,” says Cirtwill. “Electrical transmission needs to be at the top of the list. The free flow of electricity is an important element for Atlantic Canada’s prosperity.”

Gordon L. Weil is President of Standard Energy Company of Maine. He was Commissioner of Business Regulation, Director of the Office of Energy Resources and Public Advocate of the State of Maine. Weil has served on numerous regional energy bodies. He was chair of the national organization of state energy agencies and the chair of the New England negotiations leading to the region’s electric transmission tariff and the Independent System Operator. Weil has written extensively on electrical transmission in Atlantic Canada for AIMS and is in demand as a panellist and speaker on the topic.

To read the complete paper, click here.