Hydro rate hike would weaken our recovery
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This article was published 13/07/2021 (689 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
With summer finally here and public health restrictions slowly being eased, many families across Concordia are starting to look to the future with some optimism as we begin to reopen.
However, as we look to kickstart our economy and many of our spending habits return to normal, Manitoba families and small businesses alike will be faced with one particularly nasty surprise to their bottom lines — higher electricity bills.
Once again, the Pallister government is raising Hydro rates and giving Manitobans no say over the matter.
Recently, we learned that the PC government is planning to raise Hydro rates by 7.5 per cent over the next three years and is once again going around the Public Utilities Board (PUB) to avoid giving Manitobans any input.
That means regular Manitobans — the folks who own Manitoba Hydro — won’t be able to even explain how higher electricity bills will impact their families, and we won’t know whether these increases are even required in the first place.
What’s more, Manitoba Hydro has stated that the PCs have been planning these increases behind closed doors since last summer, meaning that despite the challenges families are facing during a global pandemic, we will all pay more out of pocket.
Unfortunately, the government’s meddling with Hydro is nothing new. Earlier this year, I wrote in The Herald about the government’s plans for Hydro privatization, including that their own documents stated parts of Hydro “should be considered for sale or shutdown.”
This would mean higher rates for regular Manitobans. My office received countless phone calls and emails from concerned community members across northeast Winnipeg worried about what that could mean for their families’ budgets, and the importance of keeping Hydro public. Our NDP caucus brought these concerns directly to the government in the legislature, yet the PCs refuse to listen.
Families across northeast Winnipeg have been clear — we need to keep Hydro public, ensure our rates stay low, and give Manitobans a say over any rate changes. That’s why our NDP team stands against this government’s forced rate hikes, while opposing dangerous legislation that would weaken the PUB by delaying it in the legislature.
A strong economic recovery for Manitoba must mean affordable Hydro rates.
If you’d like to share your thoughts about how higher electricity bills will impact your family, don’t hesitate to contact my office at 204-654-1857 or email email@example.com
Concordia constituency report
Matt Wiebe is the NDP MLA for Concordia.