Conawapa questions

To the Editor: 

The project was supposed to be scrapped, but wasteful spending on the Conawapa dam project hasn’t stopped. And that NDP government waste is driving up hydroelectricity rates paid by Manitobans.

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The NDP owes Manitoba Hydro ratepayers an explanation for ignoring the Public Utilities Board recommendation to stop all spending on Conawapa. That decision is going to result in increases to hydro rates. The Crown power corporation, directed by the NDP, has continued to spend tens of millions of dollars on the failed northern dam project that was described by the PUB last year as having no viable business plan. The PUB recommended in June 2014 the $10.7-billion project be “discontinued immediately and the projects terminated.”

The NDP said last summer it accepted the recommendation to halt work and all spending on Conawapa. Since then, however, Manitoba Hydro has spent about $31 million on what the Crown utility’s latest quarterly financial report describes as “future Conawapa generation.” In total, more than $329 million has been poured into the project – more than half of that for consulting services and interest costs.

Why is the NDP government forcing Hydro to keep wasting so much money on a failed dam, and forcing higher rates onto Manitobans to cover the cost of that waste? 

Only the NDP can answer that question. Manitoba Hydro ratepayers across the province deserve an answer, along with the truth from the NDP on whether it really does accept the PUB’s recommendations on scrapping Conawapa.

Ralph Eichler

Opposition Critic for Manitoba Hydro

Progressive Conservative MLA-Lakeside 

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