Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Shout out to the PUB and PITT

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Public Utilities Board - one of those vague, governmenty-sounding phrases that makes readers quickly flip to the comics. I was one of those readers until I started actually skimming through PUB testimony a while back. As part of Manitoba Hydro's latest rate application, Hydro's senior officials got grilled for days and days this spring by some very smart lawyers who ask some refreshingly simple questions and got some pretty straight answers - way straighter than I get when I call over to Hydro, despite Bob Brennan's affable charm. PUB stuff is a surprisingly interesting read, even laugh-out-loud funny in parts. And it offers this great window into the company that's at the core of the Doer government's policies and at the core of Manitoba's economy. It's a goldmine for anyone interested in Hydro. Which would be me and Ed Schreyer, basically.And Pissing in the Tent, apparently. He beat me to the tidbit about Hydro maybe building a natural gas plant, which was part of a little exchange buried in thousands of pages of PUB testimony. I was kinda hoarding that nugget for a slow summer day. Fair play, PITT.

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About Mary Agnes Welch

Mary Agnes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first as a general assignment reporter and then covering city hall and the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter.

Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas. There, in addition to covering more than 20 counties, she took high school football scores from coaches all over West Texas by phone every Friday night.

Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school, has won several Western Ontario Newspaper Awards and has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. In 2011, she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in the beat category. She is also the former national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists.

She once misspelled "Shih Tzu" in the paper and received 37 emails from angry dog-owners.

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