That takes us back to industrial electricity rates, which are paid by industries including manufacturing (automakers, for example) and mining around the province. A recent Fraser Institute study showed that, in 2016, out of 16 major cities, Toronto and Ottawa ranked third and fourth behind only New York and Boston.
Between 2010 and 2016, electricity costs paid by large industrial consumers rose 53 per cent in Ottawa and 46% in Toronto compared to 14% in the rest of Canada. Montreal saw a modest increase of 10 per cent, while costs dropped in Edmonton (7%), Calgary (5%) and Chicago (19%).
Out of 16 cities examined, the fastest rates of increase were in Portland and Seattle. But even with their rapid growth, their electricity costs for large industrial consumers were significantly lower than Toronto’s in 2016 (71% lower in Portland and 62% in Seattle).
— Ross McKitrick is a senior fellow and — Elmira Aliakbari is a policy analyst, at the Fraser Institute. They authored the recent study Rising Electricity Costs and Declining Employment in Ontario’s Manufacturing Sector available at www.fraserinstitute.org.