Hydro One removes transformer, leaves sick man in dark

Tony Kenny on his farm south of Peterborough on September 24, 2013. The landowner is upset that his...

Tony Kenny on his farm south of Peterborough on September 24, 2013. The landowner is upset that his hydro has been cut off. (JOELLE KOVACH/QMI AGENCY)

Simon Kent, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

TORONTO - Hydro One, how could you?

Tony Kenny is too polite to ask but somebody has to pose the question.

On Sept. 5 he contacted the power utility to complain about frequent, unexplained power outages at his small farm just outside Peterborough in the community of Bailieboro.

Kenny pointed out that the power transformer on his property was failing and he wrote them it was “ancient ... along with the original poles which clearly say ‘Property of Ontario Hydro.’ ”

Kenny respectfully asked for a little help. He wrote: “Because Hydro powers the only source for water for myself, a necessity of life, and animals on the farm, could you please look into replacing the transformer and poles before there is a bigger problem?”

The bigger problem being that the supply of power is not just a necessity of life for his animals, there is another reason. Kenny lives on a disability pension.

He has a chronic heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. It means he has medical needs that can only be sustained by the provision of electricity on a regular, 24/7 basis.

Kenny lives at the constant risk of cardiac arrhythmia and/or stoke. This has been compounded with late-onset adult diabetes, meaning he cannot work and Kenny’s only source of income is the Ontario Disability Support Program.

This was all outlined in his written plea to Hydro One for a better supply of electricity.

Two days later he had his reply.

The utility wrote to tell the 51-year-old they couldn’t help.

“Thank you for contacting us about power outages in your area,” the letter opened.

“Unfortunately, Hydro One cannot control all interference on our system which can cause power interruptions or voltage irregularities and from time to time, short power outages will occur on the system. Therefore, we cannot guarantee a constant supply of electricity.

“We strongly advise anyone that is dependent on electrically powered medical equipment to have a back-up generation source or alternative arrangements in the event of a power outage.

“As per our conditions of service, Hydro One cannot guarantee a continuous or constant supply of power and will not be liable for any damages caused by lack of power, a power outage or surge.”

It didn’t end there. On Sept. 10, Kenny claims without his knowledge and without notice or permission to enter his property, Hydro One workers arrived and took the transformer away.

They didn’t install a new one in its place.

Kenny has been in the dark ever since — literally and figuratively — and carts water by hand in the absence of power for his electric pumps.


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