Home Announcements Council Votes To Sell Off Our Midland PUC
Council Votes To Sell Off Our Midland PUC

Council Votes To Sell Off Our Midland PUC

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In a press release today stemming from this week’s special Council meeting it seems that the Midland Council has opted to sell off our Midland PUC.   Not interested in status quo (keeping it and the $600,ooo / year in dividends it provides) or merging to regain some control, they have instead opted to cash in our chips.   It was a prediction by many that after firing our last CAO (whose payoff has yet to appear on the budget) that Midland would find an axe-man of sorts to do the dirty work and walk away from the heat once a new, permanent CAO could be found.

We might as well put the MPUC on Kijjiji or Ebay now since it will go to the highest bidder, along with the profits we have enjoyed from this well-run, profitable corporation of which we are the only the shareholders.  If you pay taxes in Midland, this asset belongs to you.  Are you content to sit back at let it be sold?  It seems this Council thinks you are.

Councillor’s File and Main were the lone dissenters and could not support the motion to sell off this asset, preferring instead a merger option since keeping it was not even on the table.

Councillor Oschefski was absent from this special meeting and vote citing a conflict with his schedule, instead he was negotiating a new contract for his union.

Don’t just take our word for it… the former chair of the MPUC spoke out quite clearly but nobody on this Council cared to listen now that he’s happily retired.

Midland’s Press Release, spun ever so positively reads:

(MIDLAND, ON) On June 21st, 2016 Midland Council voted by 6-2 to proceed with the sale of the Midland Power Utility Corporation. Council’s decision was made after years of discussion and dozens of meetings about the future of the local utility and developments in the provincial electricity sector that will impact us over the coming decades.

These discussions began as early as 2008 and as a result of repeated Provincial studies and commissions encouraging Local Power Distribution Corporations to consolidate either through sale or merger. In 1999 there were 307 Electric Commissions and today there are approximately 70 remaining Local Distribution Corporations, of which Midland is one.

“We are all proud of our MPUC and the high quality of service that they have provided to our community since 1908. But times have changed.” said mayor Gord McKay. “The MPUC Board advised Council that the ‘status quo’ is no longer an option.

Specifically, the MPUC Board has stated it has neither the capital or human resource assets to take on the upcoming challenges. Council accepted their insight.” Council debated whether a sale or a merger, the two major types of business arrangement, provided the better protection to the people of Midland and the Town’s MPUC asset.

Council was firm that any business arrangement would be negotiated with a quality organization that had a track record of ensuring exceptional customer service. Further, Council agreed on a list of 15 points that would have to be satisfied before consummating any deal. With these protections in place, the certainty provided by a sale is a much better arrangement for the people of Midland than becoming a minority shareholder in a merged corporation.

In the coming weeks Council will retain expert assistance to pursue the sale option. Additional public meetings will be arranged and communications provided to ensure that residents are kept informed of developments.

For further information please contact:

Gary Wood Interim CAO, Town of Midland
[email protected]
www.midland.ca
705-526-4275 ext#2201

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Comment(71)

  1. Can’t see the forest for the trees. Long term investment strategies do not include dumping the one sure thing that makes a profit every year. Save that for the sunset years which presumably is never for the town.

  2. I assume the 600,000.00 dividend ( paid to the Town )will not be continued with a new owner and that our future Hydro bills will be down by the number of accounts the PUC has, the credit now coming to the individual accounts, not the Town

  3. Councillor’s File and Main were the lone dissenters and could not support the motion to sell off this asset, preferring instead a merger option since keeping it was not even on the table.

    Councillor Oschefski was absent from this special meeting and vote citing a conflict with his schedule, instead he was negotiating a new contract for his union.

  4. Pat tried to bring a motion forward to change the wording of the previous motion to include wording that would attract prospective partners interested in a merger instead of complete sale. Main seconded it. But they voted it down.

  5. That’s because they are slaughtering the goose that lays the golden eggs to throw a banquet… I have never been so ashamed of our Council but expect it won’t be last time the way it is going.

    1. Our glee club is alive and well… keep the disenfranchised happy by throwing events – shiny object distraction techniques – while the biggest decisions of this town’s history go on all around them – but they are happy in floatie-fest, movie nights etc. Just keep the distractions coming and these folks will wake up an wonder what happened to their town…

    2. Cory Atkinson-Dalton yes they are but I’m calling them as they are. No reason to stop them but that’s all many focus on – which works in councils favour.

  6. This was in the bag a long time ago, although council will deny it. In a post a while back with Cody, he made it clear that even if 17,000 of us opposed something, he feels his duty is not to do our bidding but rather to save us from ourselves. In the future, lets dispose with the dog and pony show of pretending we have a say. I won’t waste my time on town issues again…until election time.

  7. who owns all the infrastructures (power lines, distribution relay and everything related )in town ,if it is all town property , your selling all it must be a nice paycheck. What will happen to local staff.(not important whit this council) if already 200 small PUC are sold ore merged what $ did they get. did we vote for all this get ride of mpuc ,police ,fire ,parkland, town staff we are so ……

  8. It’s all a step in the wrong direction period. Is the town so bad off that we have to sell off all of our assets? I doubt it. If we do sell them off then what? No assets means no money for the town. These are stupid decisions being made by money hungry greedy counsel members. The whole counsel needs to be ejected and new members brought in if you ask me.

    1. Yes I’m being sarcastic I feel I can’t think of anything positive that the council has done for midland but only sell or get ride of things that benefit us as a community besides movie night that everyone thinks is the cats ass

    2. Yes I’m being sarcastic I feel I can’t think of anything positive that the council has done for midland but only sell or get ride of things that benefit us as a community besides movie night that everyone thinks is the cats ass

    3. Yes I’m being sarcastic I feel I can’t think of anything positive that the council has done for midland but only sell or get ride of things that benefit us as a community besides movie night that everyone thinks is the cats ass

  9. This is a dark day for Midland. This is a step back and those who supported it should be ashamed of themselves.
    Thank you Pat File and Jonathan Main for being the voices of reason, at least you tried.
    SHAME, SHAME, SHAME.

  10. You know the part that gets me? They are going to have all these “conditions ” on the sale one of which will be no increases for 10 years.. What do they think will happen in year 11? They must think taxpayers are stupid and can’t see through this??

  11. We probably won’t hear anything from councilor Cody Oschefski on this thread because he blocked Jo Midland from commenting on any of his posts and as a result that prevents Cody from commenting on any of ours. We don’t block anyone, but we do delete comments or posts with vulgar and abusive language. I told Cody that he really needs to chime in on this issue because residents are asking questions that he probably has the answers to. Asked him to unblock Jo Midland so the residents of Midland can ask him about his views on the matter.

  12. I spoke to him about it earlier this evening Zena. He said to tag him because he wanted to chime in so I did. He told me he wasn’t receiving any notifications from us. I told him he would once he unblocked Jo Midland. Bury the damned hatchet with Jo and get in on this conversation Cody!

    1. Lisa Rose it’s the easy way out of the tough conversations. By focusing on the messenger rather than the message he can avoid debating the facts and surround himself with fans who “click” like on every post no matter how inconsequential or meaningless and attack any opposition. Such is FaceBook though.

    2. True but the reality is that many other Councillor’s lurk in here but sit silently letting Cody take all the heat. Their fear to engage like Cody used to do is telling.

    3. True but the reality is that many other Councillor’s lurk in here but sit silently letting Cody take all the heat. Their fear to engage like Cody used to do is telling.

  13. I don’t agree or disagree with the selling of MPUC, but has anyone thought to ask penetang how it’s going with power stream or Tay or it’s going with Newmarket hydro? I talk to people daily who come into the bank to pay their bills and haven’t heard one complaint yet .. Just playing the devils advocate 🙂

  14. Theirs wasn’t run like ours and wasn’t churning out profits. As a bank employee would you advise someone to cash out their RRSP to pay down their mortgage??

    1. Well what does your gut tell you about my question. You work in banking. My analogy is pretty much what is going on here and you should make it a point to have a opinion as this is your future and your children’s future that this council is cashing out.

    2. I voted this council in, just as many others did. I have to trust that they will do what is best for the town 🙂 I don’t know enough about the sale to comment yay or nay.. You know me, just trying to point out the positive to your always negative 🙂 what would you do without me!

    3. Good grief. You are just the kind of sheep that every politician (shepherd in this analogy) longs for. Blind trust in your government having your best interests at heart doesn’t end well. Never has. Never will.

    4. If I’m not going to run for council to try and change it, then I can’t sit here and complain about how crappy they are. Not every politician is a bad person, this is where they reside too. They want what is best for Midland, that might not be what is best for all 17,000 midlanders, I get that. But what’s not good for you this time, might good for you next time. That’s life

    5. If I’m not going to run for council to try and change it, then I can’t sit here and complain about how crappy they are. Not every politician is a bad person, this is where they reside too. They want what is best for Midland, that might not be what is best for all 17,000 midlanders, I get that. But what’s not good for you this time, might good for you next time. That’s life

    6. I don’t know where to start and trying to convince you that you have a voice and should take an active role in your governance and should stand up for yourself and not your elected boyfriend is actually soul-draining. Blissful ignorance. I don’t live in your world and neither does most of the rest of any country run on democratic rule. I’m happy for you and feel deeply sorry for you at the same time.

    7. I know I have a voice, I use it all the time 🙂 but after seeing how much reading and research Cody puts into his decisions, I know he is way more educated on issues then me. As I hope the rest of council is too when they make decisions. 🙂

    8. Jodi Weatherell no one say they are bad people but there first job is to listen to the people of the community they don’t do that !!! That’s the issue with council they are to be our voice

    9. Jodi Weatherell I’m sorry I have to chime in here. If Midland’s assets are sold off then there will be no money for the town and my daughter will have to live in a town that has gone the way of say Detroit, Toronto even or any other city that is full of crime, murder, greed and corruption. I don’t want my daughter being raised in a town that is going to go to hell. Thank you. If it were my choice I would ask the people in favor of selling off all of the town’s assets to leave. Maybe it’s better that it’s not my choice. That’s ok. However I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. But I’m just a taxpaying citizen of the town and examples have shown that even when the town unanimously decides against something council still goes for it anyway. Because they are as you said “looking out for our best interests”. Or that they are “Saving us from ourselves”. I for one would rather see us keep our assets and my statement about ejecting certain current council members still stands.

  15. I already spoke with him yesterday Jodi. We both determined that the reason he can’t see the post or comments is because he blocked Jo Midland. As a result of that, he’s preventing himself from being able to chime in. That isn’t our doing… it’s his. Hopefully he gets into this as it’s a very important topic for the constituents of Midland.

  16. An idea was put forward about making this a referendum issue. Cody implied that this issue was far too complicated for most of us to understand… I say council should have tried. Also, I would think it only fair that the public be advised what the plans are for the funds from the sale. Bottom line is this is being shoved down our throats.

  17. Yeah and look where Harper is now. The unemployment line. This is why I suggested the council members be ejected. Harper was a power/money hungry dictator if you ask me. If we wanted that he would still be in power. I don’t want the possibility of the same traits in my council members. Am I asking too much? I doubt it. Why is it so hard to run a town and not sell everything and potentially bankrupt said town? Once the council members have done the damage and have been paid they can move wherever they please and they’ll be fine. Midland would be screwed but as long as they get theirs right? Sorry but no thanks. And I’m not saying this would happen but selling off assets, the rezoning of Edge Hill park, it’s all steps in the wrong direction as I have stated in a prior comment. It’s time we woke up and smartened up here. Enough is enough. I love my town and selling it off piece by piece is just going to damage my opinion and love of this town.

  18. Can we take a page out of the NRA handbook in the states …. several talk shows have recently explained that a small minority such as the NRA (5 million members) has control over the politicians because they are vocal. They vent directly to their representatives. Phone your alderman/alderwoman … if not phone then at least email. Here is the contact information.http://www.midland.ca/townhall/committees

  19. Its an accepted metric that for every complaint raised there are 25 or 26 customers who are unhappy but not complaining. Unfortunately, contacting your representative just once isn’t enough. Be persistent, ask them what the latest situation is, remind them that there are probably a bunch of people dissatisfied who haven’t bothered to complain.

  20. I have read alot of negative comments about this sale. But how many are looking at the long term energy shift that’s already started in Ontario? Midland PUC is becoming a diminishing return business.. and even more so as conservation targets and new technology requirements will need to be met. A very tricky landscape for smaller LDC’s to prosper. Is that something Midlanders are prepared to manage and pay for? Read this article and see if you agree: http://karenfarbridge.ca/the-future-electric-utility/

  21. The possible sale or non sale of the Midland PUC is a difficult decision to make. I appreciate that our elected council was given a mandate to do our collective bidding but something this big I believe requires something similar to the Brexit. This asset is very beneficial to Midland and not allowing the general population an opportunity to make the final decision, will not be prudent. It would make sense to see all options well spelled out in layman’s language and then have a referendum. Our PUC is a public asset and if democracy is to be truly adhered to then, this is what should be done.

  22. Kyle made a comment regarding the changes taking place in the electricity business. Yes, tech is very involved but if one studies the issue carefully, our PUC employees have done a great job for Midland and if they have done this for us previously, are they not capable of taking us into the future? Much of this shift to quickly sell off assets and privatize is at the instigation and encouragement of Provincial Cabinet Ministers and the back room boys at Queen’s Park. As Minister of Municipal Affairs, Charelli messed up big time with his special change to the Midhurst Secondary Plan. Springwater Council has said no to what was proposed and County Council also said no but where are we today, before an OMB costly hearing. This all after the Province had said no but Wynne allowed the Charelli deal. One might now look at Charelli’s next Ministerial position. Minister Of Energy and what is happening. Every LDC has been scrambling to Mr. Charelli’s drum beat and selling off this municipal asset. Need I mention Mr. Charelli’s newest duty as a Minister? No, I don’t think so. It might give some people nightmares. And he is only one minister messing us up.

  23. Sorry folks, I owe Mr. Chiarelli an apology. His name has two i’s and to break the suspense, he is still Minister of Energy. Good luck hydro users of the future. I think I would trust our PUC people to do the job better so let’s save our asset for a little longer before some off shore opportunists with deep pockets decide they can do better for us. Hopefully, we, in Midland, will see the details before the sell off takes place.

  24. Another update to mention. Mr . Chiarelli is now Minister of Infrastructure for the Province of Ontario. I guess we wait and see what damage is done in this Ministry.

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Council Votes To Sell Off Our Midland PUC

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