“FACT CHECK: McFadyen’s Market Electricity Rates Going Through the Roof” NDP

Oct 2, 2011 | Government News

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Hugh McFadyen has made no secret of his affection for Alberta’s “market rates” for energy:

“It’s old orthodoxy to think cheap power will spur Manitoba’s economic growth, and it may be time to review Hydro’s pricing policies to make sure they maximize the return on investment.” (Winnipeg Free Press, March 16, 2007)

“I think that if you look at the Alberta example, they charge everybody market rates for their oil and gas and they use the royalties from that to reduce taxes in that province. If we truly want to be on the cutting edge, we need to start looking at that example.” (CJOB, Jan. 29, 2008)

Yesterday, Albertans learned that their “market rates” for electricity will rise by a whopping 50% (“Residential electricity rates in Alberta to jump about 50% in October,” Canadian Press, Sept. 30, 2011). This shocking rate hike followed months of electricity rates “swinging up and down” with the market, leaving Alberta families with unpredictable energy bills that are significantly higher than those enjoyed by Manitoba families.

Even before yesterday’s rate shock, Alberta families were paying $381/year more for electricity than Winnipeg families and $595/year more than families in rural Manitoba.

Mr. McFadyen’s “market rates” are a risk that Manitoba families just can’t afford.


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