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NDP’s Wind Farm Deal will lose Manitobans nearly $1 billion

Hydro Briefing Note Details Massive Loss at Ratepayers Expense

A Manitoba Hydro briefing note reveals that the previous NDP government entered into an ill-conceived deal to build wind farms that will cause Manitoba ratepayers to lose a total of $962 million. To date, $376 million has already been lost from the wind farm projects. The contracts with the wind power suppliers were signed under the NDP in 2005 and cannot be cancelled until 2039.

The NDP’s 2005 Throne Speech called for the development of wind energy despite hydro already being a clean renewable energy source. Under the NDP’s direction, Manitoba Hydro began purchasing wind energy from the St. Leon Wind Farm but with power being sold at a loss to American buyers.

“This is a wind farm windfall for Americans at the expense of Manitobans,” said Derek Johnson, PC candidate for Interlake-Gimli. “The NDP wrecked Manitoba Hydro, turning it from Manitoba’s crown jewel into a debt-ridden crown corporation. This is another NDP mess we have had to clean up.”

CBC reported on August 26th that Wab Kinew planned to “turn Manitoba Hydro into a renewable energy company by investing in solar and wind power.” This intention to direct Manitoba Hydro to spend even more on wind farm power will add hundreds of millions of dollars more in new debt and higher Hydro rates to pay for it.

“This is just another example of Wab Kinew using Hydro as his personal political ATM to buy votes,” said Jeff Wharton, PC candidate for Red River North. “He made a secret handshake deal last week with Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand to buy his support with $70 million of ratepayers’ money so he would support the NDP. There is nothing new with Wab Kinew.”

Manitobans are still feeling the devastating impacts on Manitoba Hydro from the NDP’s decade of debt, decay and decline:

  • Political interference by the NDP to build Bipole III down the west side of Manitoba caused $1 billion in unnecessary costs.
  • Every major Hydro capital project commissioned by the NDP was behind schedule and over budget – Wuskwatim was expected to cost $900 million but came in at $2 billion. 
  • Hydro rates increased almost 30% since Greg Selinger became NDP premier in 2009. Rates had risen at more than double the rate of inflation during that period of time.

And Wab Kinew wants to carry on what some media have called the “NDP’s reign of terror” on hydro:

  • Kinew has pledged an uncosted $160 million in hydro rebates to buy the votes of all Manitoban ratepayers with an added special $70 million payout.
  • Impose an additional 60 cent per litre ‘super carbon tax.’
  • Force Manitoba Hydro to continue wasting its money on misguided projects such as wind power.

Manitobans know this election is about trust and taxes. Wab Kinew and the NDP are a risk we cannot afford.

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