Bill 44 would allow government to increase Manitoba Hydro rates as deemed necessary
As the Manitoba legislative assembly prepares to sit in October for the first time since April, Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) representatives are concerned about what the future holds for Bill 44 and for rural Manitoba.
Section 39.6 (1) of Bill 44, the Public Utilities Ratepayer Protection and Regulatory Reform Act, would allow the government to make increases to Manitoba Hydro electricity rates as deemed necessary until 2024.
“We are concerned about the impact this may have on rural producers with an uncontrolled rate increase in hydro rates. A lot of rural Manitoba relies on hydro for their energy source, be it heating or power,” said Bill Campbell, the president of KAP.
KAP representatives want more consultation on this bill and for producers to be included in this discussion, said Campbell.
“We would just like to make citizens and producers aware of the situation and to have some form of consultations and some public interaction and awareness of what potentially may be happening,” he told Farms.com.
The potential passing of this bill also comes at a bad time, said Campbell.
“When (the government) comes along in light of COVID-19 and certain economic problems that we are having, to be burdening people with additional extra costs is rather alarming,” he said.
KAP staff understand that Manitoba Hydro have run a deficit, but they don’t think hiking rates is the right way to deal with the problem, said Campbell.