Letters - An excuse to privatize



Neepawa Banner & Press

So Pallister wants to pay Gordon Campbell $2.5 million to do a cost study of Bipole III and the Keyask generator. Why?

Both have been studied and delayed sufficiently to nearly double their cost. Bipole III is now delivering power and Keyask’s first generator will start turning next year. We can not save money by shutting them down. Surely, somewhere in the minds of our present government, there is sufficient intelligence to understand that. So why the study? Because Pallister and company are looking for an excuse to privatize Hydro.

If one pays attention to right wing organizations such as The Canadian Taxpayers Federation or the Frontier Centre, one quickly realizes that serious conservatives have a pathological hatred of the very concept of ordinary people working together for their mutual benefit.

When Filmon privatized our telephones, my monthly bill tripled in three years, from $14 to $42. If the same rate of increase is applied to Hydro, my January bill will exceed my monthly pensions by 50 per cent.

As a public company, the Conservatives convinced many people that an increase of 7.9 per cent in rates would mean the end of civilization. But as a private company, a 200 per cent increase would no doubt have the Conservatives dancing in the streets.

Leonard Paramor,

Arden, MB

Ed. Note-In fairness to the Filmon government, the stated reason for MTS privatization was that the heavy investment required in infrastructure for cellular and other services would have increased the public debt by a huge amount. That is open for debate, but one would have to ponder if Manitoba Hydro had been privatized if they would have even built the western route Bi-Pole III. I, among many others, advised against the western route Bi-Pole III. (See my PC leadership campaign material from 2006.) Because Manitoba maintained public ownership of Hydro, the debt and the risk is all on the taxpayers shoulders. At this point in time, it looks like we might have been better off with a privatized Hydro and an eastern Bi-Pole III or even no Bi-Pole III. When people are calculating their phone bills or hydro bills, the build up of the public debt and what it costs has to be taken into account.