Bill 35, the Energy Competition Act, shields Ontario Hydros successor corporations from the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act by setting them up as commercial corporations under the provincial corporations act. The new provisions apply to the Ontario Electricity Generation Corporation and the Ontario Electric Services Corporation.
Before Bill 35 became law, Ontarios Privacy Commissioner recommended that the corporations be made subject to freedom of information laws, recognizing the publics longstanding, legitimate interest in the environmental, health and safety implications of hydro operations. She noted that the new companies remain public bodies, and are more like crown corporations than private businesses. In addition, Ontario taxpayers continue to underwrite Ontario Hydros debt.
The government did not heed her advice, raising concerns about the new corporation failing to disclose vital information to the public for competitive reasons.