In 1906 a crown corporation was created to provide the people of Ontario with electricity, at a cost, and to protect Ontario from private-sector monopolists. Less than 90 years later, prominent in the provincial Conservatives 1995 campaign platform, was a promise to privatize Ontario Hydro. More than six years later, Mike Harris and the Tories are finally getting around to it. Just recently they announced that Hydro One would be sold to private investors, an announcement that started a heated debate regarding deregulation. Many people are against deregulation, but in reality, deregulation would be beneficial. It would create competition between companies, effectively reducing electricity prices, among other things, and deregulation has been successful in other areas, especially the US. Deregulation can also benefit Toronto in ways not directly linked to the electricity monopoly. .
The deregulation of Ontario Hydro would allow any number of companies to produce, supply, and sell electricity. This, in turn, creates competition, which becomes a major factor, and benefit, of deregulation. Competition will open up the electricity market and that will result in more economic and job opportunities. It is anticipated that competition will introduce price and cost discipline on electricity providers, because as with any other business, high prices will not attract customers. Competition between companies should also result in new ideas and technological innovations as each company strives to offer better prices and more reliable electricity than its opponents. Most importantly, competition will offer the public a choice. People can choose the kind of electricity that powers their home, whether it is natural gas, solar, hydro or wind power. Environmentally minded consumers can opt for "green power" as well. Customers can choose what company they want to sign with, or remain with their local utility provider.