Ontario's provincially owned Hydro One transmission utility will remain completely publicly owned. Premier Ernie Eves announced the change Jan. 20, citing public concerns.

A court challenge and public criticism last spring forced the government to change its original plan to completely privatize the utility. Instead, it passed legislation enabling it to sell a 49% share, while maintaining majority ownership (ENR 8/5/02 p. 15). The decision to retain 100% control is the latest in a series of energy policy reversals that are discouraging merchant plant operators from setting up in Ontario, says Independent Power Producers' Society president John Brace. "I can't say if this (the sale cancellation) is a good thing or a bad thing. But it's certainly adding to marketplace uncertainty."