Honda Canada can't keep up with demand, said spokesman Don Zaharia.
"There has been somewhat of a panic," he said yesterday. "People are buying them for the Year 2000 and just sitting on them. We are selling all we can bring in. Production is at full tilt."
Ontario Management Board Chairman Chris Hodgson is urging calm, noting his government committed $750 million to solve the problem.
"We are working to make sure all levels of government are coordinated on emergency planning. There are no guarantees in life (but) we are not running around screaming that the sky is falling. I'm not 100% sure everything will be okay on Jan. 1."
Neither is anyone else, it appears. Scarborough's Yamaha Cycle World, which sells Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha generators, doesn't have a single machine in stock.
About 500,000 generators are in use in Canada. A household version, strong enough to power a furnace fan, small appliances and some lights, costs from $1,000 to $2,500.
Ontario Hydro said it is 99% ready for the Year 2000.