With an increasing population and a growing economy, Manitoba Hydro forecasts that we will run out of power within the next 10 years.
Last week, our government was pleased to issue an Environment Act licence to Manitoba Hydro so they can keep building for the future. We need to invest in building new dams and new transmission now so we can be sure the power is there when we need it.
The Progressive Conservatives’ only plan is to stop building hydro and instead import dirty fossil fuels from our neighbours. This short-sighted approach would leave us unable to fulfil our export contracts, which help keep rates for Manitoba families and businesses the lowest in Canada.
It would also devalue the company and enable the Tories to sell it to their friends at giveaway prices, as they did with MTS. Today, Manitobans pay some of the highest telephone rates in the county.
Conservative MLA Blaine Pedersen’s recent letter in the Brandon Sun (Aug. 17) talked about expropriation of land. He neglected to mention that of the thousands of transmission lines built in Manitoba, the only time land has been expropriated was under the Filmon government, in which his current leader, Brian Pallister, was a senior cabinet minister.
Nothing has changed. The last time the Progressive Conservatives were in power they cancelled plans to build the Conawapa generating station. Prior to that, they opposed construction of the Limestone project.
Fortunately for Manitobans, the NDP government of the day rejected that short-sighted thinking and continued to build. Limestone has paid for itself several times over.
Hydro is Manitoba’s oil, only cleaner and greener. To suggest that we shouldn’t develop our hydro resources is like telling Alberta not to develop their oil.
Minister responsible for
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 22, 2013