Nova Scotia Journal

N.S. Power executive criticized by opposition MLAs for a proposed rate spike

Nova Scotia

Key takeaways: 

  • MLA Brendan Maguire says the firm’s application comes when cost-of-living boosts ‘devastating’ Nova Scotians.
  • Nova Scotia Power has applied to increase electricity rates by 10 percent over three years. 

On Wednesday, Nova Scotia rival politicians directly challenged and publicly rebuked a top executive at Nova Scotia Power at Province House in Halifax.

The utility’s chief operating officer Mark Sidebottom was one of 10 individuals called before the legislature’s public accounts committee to speak regarding the company’s offered 10 percent electricity rate increase over three years.

Although senior officials at the firm decided to testify, they warned the committee they would not answer specific queries regarding the rate application. A spokesperson from the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board and two regional deputy ministers meant the same.

Although the firm filed its application in January, the formal regulatory hearings before the board have not begun yet.

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Nova Scotia rival politicians directly challenged and publicly rebuked a top executive at Nova Scotia Power at Province House in Halifax

Liberal MLA Brendan Maguire called the sign “mean.”

“Even before you sit in this committee, you send these letters to us stating that you don’t want to, nor will you answer inquiries,” told the Halifax Atlantic spokesperson. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my eight years on this committee.” Maguire offered the proposal for a 10 percent price growth over three years couldn’t be coming at the worst time.

“The expense of living is devastating Nova Scotians, and at that time, Nova Scotia Power dared to set forward a 10 percent rate increase on the backs of Nova Scotians,” said Maguire. “People are defaulting on their rent and mortgage prices, and I know this because I’ve been an MLA for eight years and heard it.”

In reply to this question and others like it, Sidebottom constantly told committee members: “There’s never a good time to request an upsurge in electricity rates.”

Source – cbc.ca

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