Innisfil Council is considering a deal to sell half of their locally owned and operated PUC (InnPower) to EPCOR (the city of Edmonton Alberta’s power utility). The deal is reportedly worth $19M and comes after EPCOR expressed an interested in Innisfil’s LDC a year ago.
The town’s CAO Jason Reyner is quoted as saying “We really need an injection of cash into the company, so this is a great way to bring on an equity partner, the area is growing quickly and InnPower needs financial help to keep up. The transformer station that we might need to put into south Barrie which is part of InnPower’s jurisdiction is $100M alone”.
If their PUC has major capital projects that must be done soon and they lack the cash reserves to make that happen, then it is understandable to look for partners so they can remain viable and serve their community without selling out completely.
The question for Midland is, are there parallels here and can they be used by our Council to justify their continued exploration of our MPUC sale?
Does Midland have any major (aka expensive) capital projects in need for our community that are not budgeted for or already done?
Was Innisfil making the 9% return from InnPower that we make from the MPUC? If so, what did they do with the money to not have it banked for capital upgrades that must have been on the horizon for some time?
Was InnPower the seemingly well-oil machine that the MPUC is purported to be? Was it well run and profitable and staying ahead of the curve with proactive upgrades and maintenance?
Innisfil is reported to be growing rapidly and needs to build out their infrastructure – citing that as the major reason for this consideration. Is Midland “growing rapidly” and faced with major infrastructure changes and growth?
These are all questions that need to answered to the community when discussing the selling off in whole or in part of our MPUC – and before politicians simply point fingers to other communities and try to draw parallels to those communities when pushing for the sale of assets in exchange for some quick cash.