We have a billion-dollar deficit, which was caused by flood and recession, says the provincial government. The deficit was caused by flooding and recession, parrots the CBC.
But wait, Saskatchewan also had flood and recession to deal with and they have no deficit. And lower taxes. Much lower. And they still send money to Ottawa for the have-not provinces.
How is this possible?
Many of us remember earlier times when Saskatchewan was as at least as poor as Manitoba. Saskatchewan was so poor that even Manitoba felt a bit sorry for them. Times have changed in Rider Nation. Will times ever change here?
It’s comparing apples and oranges you say — they have potash and we have ... well, hydro.
Speaking of hydro, Manitoba Hydro isn’t doing much for the provincial coffers these days. In fact, nothing at all. They plan to put another $18 billion on their tab to build more generating stations and … a west-side Bipole III transmission line (a major boondoggle, with a Mr. S. pulling the strings)
There are many daunting problems with Manitoba Hydro, but I will only mention three:
i) because there is already generating capacity for years to come for the mainly stagnant Manitoba market, building more hydro generating capacity can only be justified if there is a profitable, stable and growing export market; and
ii) thanks to our new energy world in North America, driven by shale gas, there is no viable export market for Manitoba hydro power. None. It can’t compete with compressed natural gas. We sell hydro at a loss to the USA. Of course Hydro is already saying that the problem may be short-lived. But they would say that anyway. The evidence points elsewhere.
iii) their tab will be our $18-billion tab.
Now there is something to be truly concerned about, dear taxpayer. Not only you, but your children and grandchildren will have to deal with this.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 2, 2012