Ontario regulators reduce service as power crisis continues

By Doug Watt | August 20, 2003 | Last updated on August 20, 2003
2 min read

(August 20, 2003) Ontario’s two main financial services regulators have been forced to scale back service as the province struggles to cope with an ongoing power crisis. The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is providing essential services only while the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has suspended operations entirely.

A massive blackout last week left much of Ontario and the northeastern U.S. in the dark. Since then, Ontario has had problems restoring the system to full capacity and has been urging businesses and consumers to implement conservation measures.

“In an effort to conform to the government of Ontario’s request that business and government operate at reduced levels and conserve power, and given the non-critical nature of the material, the OSC will not publish their regular weekly bulletin for the week ending Friday, August 22, 2003,” the commission said in a statement issued today.

“Everyone’s co-operation is appreciated in not calling or e-mailing the OSC with non-urgent matters until the state of emergency has been lifted.”

FSCO says its services will not be available “until the situation permits” and has temporarily suspended insurance licence renewals.

“Licences that have expired since August 15, 2003, are extended until Monday August 25, 2003,” FSCO said in a statement on its Web site. “If arrangements for a further extension are necessary, a notice will be posted.”

In Ottawa, the Bank of Canada has been providing essential services from its back-up facility, “such as monitoring financial markets and the critical clearing and settlement systems.”

Officials expect to restore full power to the province by the end of the week. Meanwhile, the province has been importing power from Quebec and New York to cope with heavy demand caused by the hot weather and to avoid further blackouts.

Ontario Premier Ernie Eves says he doesn’t expect the power crisis to have a dramatic impact on the provincial economy.

Filed by Doug Watt, Advisor.ca, dwatt@advisor.ca


Doug Watt