Manitoba Hydro has recorded substantial losses in the first six months of this fiscal year, despite a four per cent rate hike pushed by the Selinger NDP this past summer. According to the corporation’s recently released quarterly financial results, the losses amounted to $43 million this year – way up over the same period last year, when Hydro lost $13 million.
“In its commentary on the losses, Hydro finally admitted to lower-than-expected export sales and pricing as contributing factors. That’s something I’ve warned the NDP about in the legislature,” said Ralph Eichler, Opposition critic for Manitoba Hydro. “What is even more disturbing is this loss comes just after Manitobans had a four per cent rate increase forced on them in August.”
The NDP claims rate increases are needed to fund capital investments. However, many energy experts say the NDP’s assumptions about the need for new hydro capacity are vastly overstated. That reality, coupled with the rapid decline in export sales, means hydro rates paid by every residential customer will at least double over the next 20 years.
“The NDP’s pay-more, get-less plan for Manitoba Hydro needs serious re-evaluation,” Eichler added. “The stakes are too high to simply allow the NDP’s politics to trump sound management of our province’s largest Crown corporation.”