Belatedly, I would like to post this welcome email of support from Bruce McLeod, received following my questioning of the evasive PWC reviewers at the April 22 City Council meeting debating the Phase 1 EnWin Utilities “audit.” As for the body language and eye contact of the reviewers, I am very disheartened that my worst fears are being realized, that contracted audit firms will be more apologists for the corporation as compared to an independent, vigilant auditor general.
Alan, you REALLY got it all said! You were a bit more organized than usual and perceived (by me) as particularly forceful and to-the-point!
If you get a chance to see the “tape” of the meeting, I think you’ll notice (as indeed most of us did) that Eddie was very noticeably irritated and the two from PWC kept looking at him, blinking and appeared surprised to be so skillfully questioned!
The big question/answer they (PWC and Eddie) were actively trying to avoid was: Instead of an Ontario electrical utility at-the-end-of-the-period producing a PROFIT, if they skillfully calculated the amount of the perceived excess of income, they could then use that amount before the year-end to:
(a) make an extra payment toward any outstanding loans OR
(b) purchase equipment (poles, etc.) for the coming year OR
(c) declare a reduction in the bill of each customer in the period prior to year-end, AND that would liquidate the excess . . . bringing net income to zero (or as close to zero as possible).
There would then be no TAX-on-profit to be paid AND the question of paying a dividend to the municipality would be mute. And with any surplus of funds projected into the coming year, as a result of that “economy,” could be used in a rate application to actually LOWER rates! (as you suggested).
This very “device” (as you probably know Alan) is used frequently by Non-Profit agencies and corporations (who have no interest in producing a profit) leading-up to the April 30th Year-End so they use every last dime in their appropriated budget, lest they lose any unspent balance (it also affects the next year as they might have their “normal” new appropriation reduced because of the previous unused surplus).
Alan: You did a wonderful job Monday night! THANKS! I also think Al Nelman’s presentation was excellent!
Bruce R. McLeod