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June 13, 2011
For immediate release

Long-term future of Island electricity costs to be examined by five-member commission

Environment, Energy & Forestry

The long-term future of the province’s energy sector will be examined by a Commission co-chaired by two prominent Islanders, says Premier Robert Ghiz.

“I am very pleased that Mike O’Brien and David Arsenault have agreed to lead this important task – as we examine ways to ensure stable electricity rates into the future,” Premier Ghiz said.

The five-member Commission will also include Roger King, Gerald Morneau and Richard Hassard. (Biographies attached.)

The work of the Commission is a key component of the Prince Edward Island Energy Accord. First announced last fall, the Energy Accord has succeeded in lowering Island electricity costs by 14 per cent on average. Overall, the Accord will save Islanders $50 million between March of this year and the spring of 2013. After that, electricity costs are anticipated to rise roughly in tandem with the consumer price index for the final three years of the Accord.

“With the two-year reduction in costs and future stability, the Energy Accord has offered Prince Edward Island a great opportunity,” Premier Ghiz said. “We can use this period of price reduction and stability to examine new options for the province’s long-term future. I am more than confident that the members of this Commission will offer input into the kind of direction our province needs.”

Environment, Energy and Forestry Minister Richard Brown said he is very pleased that such an experienced group has agreed to serve on the Commission.

These individuals have a great deal of professional experience in the finance and engineering worlds, and I am confident their deliberations will offer a clear path to the future,” Mr. Brown said.

In addition to researching the factors surrounding electricity costs, the Commission will also consult widely with Islanders. After the research and consultation phases are complete, the Commission is expected to report publicly by September of 2012.



Mike O’Brien, FCA (Co-chair) – Mr. O’Brien is a Senior Business Advisor with McInnes Cooper. He is a former Deputy Minister of Development and Technology and a former Deputy Provincial Treasurer. Mr. O’Brien lives in Charlottetown.

David Arsenault, BBA, FCA (Co-chair) – Mr. Arsenault is a general practice partner and the managing partner of Arsenault Best Cameron Ellis. He was admitted as a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Prince Edward Island in 2007. Mr. Arsenault lives in Charlottetown.

Roger King, P.Eng., MBA – Mr. King has served as a member of the PEI Senior Citizens Federation and chaired that organization’s sub-committee on energy matters. He is a technical operations manager with experience in managing large budgets and forming business strategies. Mr. King lives in Hunter River.

Gerald Morneau, BA, B.A.Sc, Civil Engineering – Mr. Morneau has worked as construction manager on various private sector projects representing billions of dollars in investment, including the James Bay Hydroelectric Power Project. Mr. Morneau lives in Summerside.

Richard Hassard, BBA, MBA – Mr. Hassard served for several years as the Chair of the Board of the Wind Energy Institute of Canada (WEICan) located at North Cape. He has worked at senior positions in the financial industry, and is a former Co-chair of the capital fund-raising committee for the Atlantic Veterinary College. Mr. Hassard lives in St. Peters Bay.

Media Contact: Kim Devine
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