I would like to congratulate all four mayoral candidates, the 20 council candidates and the 11 school trustee candidates who put their names forward to run in the Thompson municipal election last week. Successful or not, it is not an easy decision to run for office. It takes a lot of sacrifice not only for the candidates but for their families, and each deserves our gratitude for providing a democratic choice for Thompson voters. We all benefit from the ideas brought forward during the campaign, and I look forward to working with new mayor Colleen Smook, city councillors and school trustees as we all strive for a better, more sustainable future for Thompson and for the north.
On the provincial front, our government is pleased to see Manitoba Hydro moving toward finalizing a sale of up to 215 megawatts of hydroelectricity to SaskPower. Crown Services Minister Colleen Mayer announced this week that Manitoba Hydro and SaskPower have signed a term sheet for at least 18 years, with the possibility of an extension for up to a total of 30 years. This amounts to an increase of up to 215 megawatts of electricity exports beginning in 2022, helping to displace fossil fuel power generation. It could lead to yearly emission reductions of the equivalent of about three megatonnes of carbon dioxide. We congratulate Manitoba Hydro and SaskPower and look forward to an official agreement to increase the flow of energy between these provinces.
Minister Mayer also noted that Manitoba is continuing to attempt to engage the federal government to support further east-west transmission possibilities. Our province’s production of clean hydroelectricity can play a larger role in lowering emissions in Canada, and can help to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint.