So, Manitoba Hydro plans to spend $700,000 of ratepayers’ money to ‘dialogue’ with their ratepayers on the ‘wisdom’ of its $20 billion (plus) development plans. Rather than propagating and disseminating propaganda on behalf of its political master, the Crown-owned monopoly utility would better serve ratepayers by cooperating in an independent and expert review of both the (government-directed) plans and options thereto (preferably before blindly continuing its ‘spend-a-thon’, all with borrowed money, all to the eventual account of the ratepayers, on the Province’s largest economic and financial gamble in its history).
With a string of annual deficits on record and a spiraling provincial debt, the Manitoba government looks to ’other’ sources of income to fund its ‘wants’. It would be better if the government made a sincere effort to ‘live within its means . . .
Settling a matter of such significance to ratepayers should not be done behind closed doors, in the end it is the ratepayers that ’carry the can’ for Hydro’s ‘investments and commitments’.
Hydro has lost its intended focus on meeting Manitoba demand and bringing in electricity at the lowest cost possible for Manitoba ratepayers. The Utility’s development designs, based on overly optimistic forecasts of export demand and maintaining cost pressures on the new build, represent ‘gambling’ with ratepayers’ money.
As matters now stand, if government allows Hydro to ‘go over the cliff” with an inadequately tested commercial gamble and ‘things’ don’t work out as they plan (not much has, recently), while their leadership could walk away and retire (perhaps to a warmer climate), the general population of Manitoba cannot.