Re: Ratepayers on the hook for Hydro (Dec. 23). Manitoba Hydro is on a horrid downward trajectory, failed badly by its political overseers. As bad as it appears, the bigger problem is the effect current and future technology will have on power generation by potential Hydro clients.
Meanwhile, a province struggling under the weight of its current debt spends foolishly on pipe dreams.
Brian Pallister and Rana Bokhari need to step up and commit to suspending this outrageous spending until such time as we study the current long-term plans and costs, and until we can afford to develop capacity beyond the needs of Manitobans.
Hydro projects costing billions is one of the driving forces behind Greg Selinger's booming economy. If you dump a couple of billion-dollar projects into a small economy such as Manitoba's, it has a positive effect on numbers that governments love to see.
These projects will come home to haunt us in the future; hopefully some of them can be stopped after April.
Manitoba Hydro has lost sight of its original mandate -- to provide economically priced energy to Manitobans. It did so in part by selling excess power at premiums to the U.S. and other markets.
Its focus now is on growing as a utility -- empire-building -- and using domestic consumers to fund that growth.
Another issue: in addition to ignoring market conditions, Hydro ignores the long repay over the long term on the type of assets it builds. If it groups a number of builds together, as it is proposing, it has to go deep into debt.
The Public Utilities Board needs to shut these guys down for a while, and the provincial government needs to call in experts to review efficiency and capital decisions.
I noticed a number of Manitoba Hydro commercials running during Tuesday's Jets game on TSN3. Why would a Crown utility with a legislated monopoly purchase advertising blocks? The money comes from the ratepayers, who have little option for purchasing energy.
Where's the benefit to ratepayers with this expenditure?
The main beneficiary of this spending will be ratepayers in the United States, who will have access to ample amounts of below-cost power.
I thought Hydro was supposed to do that for Manitobans. Instead, we appear to be financing our government's largesse towards others.
Costs are out of control with prospective revenues shrinking. Time to rein in this out-of-control venture.
I don't know about everybody else, but I can't afford much more of this.