In a decision released on June 3, 2010, the Ontario Court of
Appeal upheld orders of the Ontario Energy Board and the Divisional
Court that deny Great Lakes Power (GLP) recovery of approximately
$15 million from its customers because the underlying costs had not
been subject to a prudency review.
The appeal related to a portion of GLP's revenue requirement
that had been voluntarily deferred between 2002 and 2007 to avoid
rate shock to its customers. The underlying costs did not undergo a
full prudency review by the Board because of the "rate
freeze" implemented by Bill 210 in 2002. GLP refused to submit
to a prudency review when it sought recovery of these amounts in
its 2007 rate application. GLP argued that the Board had approved
the costs in a 2002 interim order and was foreclosed from
revisiting those costs by Bill 210. The Board disagreed with
GLP's interpretation of the 2002 interim order and denied
recovery in the absence of a prudency review. The Board's
decision was affirmed by the Divisional Court in July 2009. A full
description of the case appeared in the August 2009 edition of our
In affirming the decisions of the Board and Divisional Court, the
Court of Appeal ruled that the Board is entitled to deference when
interpreting its own orders as that task calls upon the Board's
expertise and policy considerations. Further, the Court agreed that
the costs at issue were not approved by the 2002 interim order and
could not be recovered in the absence of a prudency review by the
Board. In dismissing GLP's pleas that the result was unfair,
the Court noted that GLP was ignoring those parts of Bill 210 that
allowed for a prudency review of the deferred amounts and had
"made a conscious decision to forego a prudency review"
in its 2007 application.
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Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
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