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Hydro demand growing

Your Dec. 15 editorial, Hydro forecasts unravel, states that "domestic demand for power is falling, not rising." On the contrary, our most recent load forecast shows Manitoba's domestic electric load growing at a rate of 1.6 per cent annually for the next 20 years, or about 80 megawatts of additional peak demand every year. Even with planned energy-conservation programs, new capacity will be required to meet Manitoba's domestic needs by around 2022, which is why we are proposing to build the Keeyask generating station for a 2019-20 in-service date. Doing nothing is not an option.

The record shows that, over the long run, revenues from both firm and short-term export sales help reduce the cost to Manitoba ratepayers. For a typical residential service (1,000 kilowatt use per month), Manitobans pay $74.55 compared to $125.38 by a customer in Regina or $136.95 in Kenora, Ont.

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Over the past decade, export customers have contributed more to our revenues than Manitoba residential customers. It's true that export revenues from short-term spot-market sales have fallen significantly, but with our long-term sales in the form of signed contracts with utilities in Minnesota and Wisconsin, our total export revenues are expected to bring in $29 billion over the next 30 years.

Short-term sales on the spot market generate additional revenue as an alternative to spilling water when higher flows produce more energy that needed in Manitoba and for firm exports. These short-term sales should not be confused with our signed long-term export contracts.

Concern has also been expressed about the cost of building hydro versus other fossil-fuel alternatives such as gas-fired power plants. While the cost of natural gas today might make that seem an attractive option, planning for our future electrical supply requires a long-term view. Taking into account the long-term forecast of natural gas costs and electricity prices in our export market, our hydroelectric-development plan is the preferred plan, resulting in the lowest electricity rates for our customers. Similar planning led to northern hydro development in the 1960s and early 1970s when the lowest near-term cost option at the time was coal-fired electrical generation.


President and CEO

Manitoba Hydro


Both sides bigoted

Re: Saddened by PC response (Letters, Dec. 19). Like every Manitoban, I was saddened to read about the remarks by the now-former Manitoba Progressive Conservative youth president Braydon Mazurkiewich. They were nothing short of disgraceful and bigoted but nevertheless one person's opinions.

But Terry Nelson, the former chief of Roseau River First Nation, has ranted for years about "whitey" and even taken his bigotry to Iran, one of the worst human rights violators in the world.

No apology has ever been issued for Nelson's opinion by Grand Chief Derek Nepinak or any other First Nations leader.




Money for nothing

The story of Evander Kane's photo on Twitter (Raising Kane, Dec. 20) has been entirely overblown.

Jets fans may question his conduct on social media, but we should be reminded that he is only 21 years old. Young men make mistakes, and as far as mistakes go, Kane made a minor one.

The photo may not have been humble, but it was not offensive. Compared to photos posted online from Las Vegas by other men his age, this was tame.

Compared to what other athletes have done, like Ondrej Pavelec's driving-while-intoxicated arrest, which didn't cause this much of an uproar, Kane can certainly be forgiven by fans and the Winnipeg media.




OK, we all get it now. Evander Kane is clearly loaded and his bank account is in the black. He should just know that some of fans fans are seeing red and are finding it a wee bit difficult to sympathize with him during the current lockout.

It might be time to take his mind off his stock options and figure out how to make sure his stock doesn't plummet with his fans here in Winnipeg. Cockiness and arrogance off the ice aren't pretty.




I am so tired of reading about this NHL lockout. Nothing changes day to day, and the media ask all involved: "Is there going to be a season?"

They all say "yes." Then let's quit dragging it out and play, or just cancel the season. Let's read only about the juniors for the next three weeks and nothing about the NHL lockout.




End-of-world musings

I always regretted having Doonesbury moved from the letters page to the comics section. I just realized that now I finish the paper with Doonesbury and leave for work in a better frame.

I thought I should write, as the Mayan calendar may have run out for the post office. Are they still accepting mail?




The world as we knew it ended some time ago with the arrival of the factory hog industry.

When smashing baby pigs against poles or concrete floors, castrating males without any painkillers, leaving sows half dead after being shot in the head with a bolt gun and crating sows in metal stalls so small they struggle to lie down and nurse their piglets can be justified and considered "normal" handling practices, this is not the world I grew up in.

When our government is afraid to admit they made a mistake by welcoming the factory hog industry into the province and spends more time and money propping it up instead of protecting the health and welfare of Manitoba communities, the animals and our land and waterways, this is not what I remember as the role of the government in the old world.

And what has happened to the mindset and moral compass of people? Is cheap meat all that matters?

If this is the new world, I'm afraid it won't last long.




We'll second that!

Re: Here's a tip: Don't be cheap over the holidays (Dec. 20). Possibly out of conflict-of-interest concerns, your story does not mention tipping the Free Press delivery person.

Surely someone who gets up at 5 a.m. to be sure we have our morning paper deserves a holiday tip.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 21, 2012 A13

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