Higher Hydro rates and fewer daycare spaces


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/07/2021 (683 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Two weeks ago, the Progressive Conservative government announced it is, yet again, moving forward with increasing Hydro rates on all Manitobans during the pandemic.

In addition to the 2.9 per cent Hydro rate increase in December 2020, the government is planning to increase rates by 2.5 per cent each year for the next three years, without an independent review from the Public Utilities Board.

This means that regular Manitobans — the folks in Notre Dame who own Manitoba Hydro — won’t be able to even explain how higher electricity bills will affect their families, and we won’t know whether Manitobans are being asked to overpay.

To make matters worse, the Public Utilities Ratepayer Protection and Regulatory Reform Act (Bill 35) will force the PUB to approve electricity rates in five-year intervals rather than annually and rate adjustments can be made at the minister’s discretion.

These changes are wrong. They reduce accountability and transparency and they allow the minister to increase rates at the stroke of a pen. These unwarranted Hydro rate increases mean that it’s getting harder for Manitoba families to make ends meet each month.

Bill 35 is one of the five designated bills the NDP caucus has delayed until later this year in an effort to raise public awareness and encourage citizen engagement over harmful and drastic changes planned by the government. If you’re concerned about higher Hydro rates I encourage you to register to speak at the bill committee by calling 204-945-3636.

I am also very concerned by the recent news that the Weston Child Care Centre is closing down on Aug. 31. For over 30 years, the Weston daycare has supported many families; it currently provides care for 59 infants and children.

Nearby child-care centres can accept several children from Weston in the fall but another child-care solution is immediately necessary to meet the needs of Weston families.

Currently, families from the daycare are considering forming a non-profit child-care centre and parent-run board and actively looking for a safe and viable location for a new centre. The government should step in to help in whatever way possible to ensure that these children have access to affordable child care in their community.

A strong recovery from the pandemic must mean affordable Hydro rates and child care.

If you’d like to share your thoughts about how higher electricity bills will affect your family or are struggling to find child care, don’t hesitate to contact my office at 204-788-0800 or by emailing malaya.marcelino@yourmanitoba.ca

Malaya Marcelino

Malaya Marcelino
Notre Dame constituency report

Malaya Marcelino is the NDP MLA for Notre Dame.

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