Province has no answer for high power rates

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To the editor,

I write concerning Nova Scotia Power and the reading material that accompanied my last bill. With the list of reasons why our rates were being increased, it stated one was the loss of a couple of major clients, major power-consuming industries. Then the light came on. You are generating less power to meet demand, therefore you would require less fuel to meet demand, I would think would be the response.

Why did the major industries cease to exist? I would say from the high rates they were paying for electrical power. This is like killing the goose that laid the golden egg. In 1992 when the Conservative government of Donald Cameron made what was called one of the largest equity transfers from public to private hands in Canada it was to sell off Crown assets to lower the deficit. Would you say this was effective?

Just prior to the privatization of NSP in 1992 the provincial government had spent a great deal of public money building new thermal generating plants. I bet the taxpayers are still paying for these high-priced assets which I believe went to a private entity for a small fraction of their total costs.

Not only are the taxpayers still paying for this, high power rates are driving industry out of Nova Scotia and increasing the provincial debt from lack of both personal and business taxation. I stand to be corrected on any of this.

A guaranteed rate of return of over 9.5 per cent at a time such as this cannot be supported. Successful businesses, I have read, average 3 to 5 per cent returns. Pension funds are in a deficit position the last few years because of low returns. So this further emphasizes the ludicrous returns NSP has for shareholders.

Where are all the leaders who should be able to see the harm in these high power rates? Stephen McNeil spoke out and Clarrie MacKinnon, MLA for Pictou East, spoke out against McNeil like a schoolyard bully. I would say to Mr. MacKinnon I do not possess his high academic education but I have insights about power rates and economics.

I thought we voted NDP in the last election. Did they not mention families on several occasions on air, or in their pamphlets. I get it now, they did not specify it was very wealthy families they were thinking of. Remember when they raised the HST two per cent to reduce the provincial debt? Guess there is not much difference between the Cameron government of 1992 and the Dexter government of 2013. One question to close, will the real NDP please show yourself?

Arthur Sinclair

Westville

Organizations: Nova Scotia Power

Geographic location: Canada, Nova Scotia, Pictou East

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  • Robyn
    February 05, 2013 - 08:03

    I was never so glad in my life as to leave Nova Scotia. It's been my home for over 30 years and it's nothing but an expensive dirt ball. Too many people are depressed and poor. Even those who have jobs are constantly trying to keep their heads above water. Good jobs are too few and far between. I hold a Diploma in Office Management and have NEVER saw the other side of a receptionist desk. I've had that diploma since 1998! I feel especially sorry for those on welfare, EI, and disability who have no choice but to be on it. Last year we lived in a house in which the rent was $475/month and because the rent was "too high" for their standards, they refused to assist with power, phone or any other bills. Imagine. I would like them to go out and find a place for cheaper on Kijiji for a family of 4 while they sit back in a la- z-boy sipping chardonnay and eating filet mignon. I think they have the same maximum amount for rent since the 80s. It's nothing short of entrapment. Welfare is not something you are supposed to live on forever, but the people on disability get the same treatment from the government. If you can't work, you are therefore useless in their eyes so the disabled are even more disabled due to no money. And yes the Power company is absolutely ridiculous. If another one was to ever set up shop in NS and offer lower rates they would not only make a MINT but would put NS Power where they belong - out of power. So many problems in NS it is not funny. Everything's too expensive and wages are too low. Plus I have never seen a place in which so many of my friends are being nothing short of being harassed by Children's Aid! It's no wonder! They wield more power than the police, not needing warrants to enter the premises and being involved for years because of the one time their house is in disarray but keep making excuses to come back. I've seen it. That's one agency that really needs to be reigned in. Sorry Nova Scotia but you really need to get some priorities straightened out very, very badly. No wonder so many are forced to leave. The rich stay rich and the poor poorer. Period.

    • Bob in NS
      February 05, 2013 - 10:32

      You tell it like it is Robyn. But don't forget that no matter where you live in the Harper kingdom you can still send a few bucks this way to bolster the corporate welfare pot.

    • Tammy
      February 07, 2013 - 08:23

      First off, Robyn, maybe you have never saw the other side of a reception desk because of your poor grammar. If I were hiring an office administrator, I would hope they would know that the proper grammar would be: "have NEVER seen...." and "one agency that needs to be reined in".... Secondly, I happen to know some of these workers who you claim to be harassing your friends, and I can assure you, the last thing they need/want to do is waste time bothering innocent parents; I cannot help but think that you are failing to tell the whole story, and instead are trying to paint workers who have to do some of the worst work in the world in an unflattering light. But that is not the point of the letter on which you commented; what we all need to realize is the cost of energy will continue to go up. We are still not paying close to what other developed nations are, so perhaps we should enjoy the relatively low rates we have now while we can!

  • arthur sinclair
    February 05, 2013 - 06:55

    The debt could have been paid back while keeping NSP public. I do not trust any politician nor did I state this. I stated that Mr. Mac neil was the only one who spoke out in any way and was attacked. Emera was not the original owner. The debt from the thermal generating plants still remains with the taxpayers and thus we are in a worse position now than before the sale. Johnny Smoke if you would stand behind your statements you would be using your real name not using smoke and mirrors. You often make statements which are often of target with the writters written thoughts. Please Johnny read what is there and dont try to interpet something that is not mentioned. I in no way stated i supported The Liberal Party of Nova Scotia. I have not made up my mind what way I will vote so Mr. Smoke do not vote for me.

    • johnny smoke
      February 06, 2013 - 14:41

      Dear Arthur . Please show me where I endorsed any party I detest then all, they are your friend until they get elected, then they are your worse nightmare afterwards. However if you doubt my word then take a few hours and read the following, I am sure that it will back up anything that I have said, and no Arthur I do not go around willy nilly shooting my mouth off, I leave that to others, if you can self identify then so be it Nova Scotia Power Privatization Act CHAPTER 8 of the Acts 1992 amended 1994, c. 9, s. 24; 1994, c. 39; 1997, c. 3, s. 10; 1998, c. 19, s. 7; 1998, c. 18, s. 570; 2002, c. 5, ss. 17, 44, 45; 2003, c. 4, s. 24; 2010, c. 35, s. 42

  • Bob in NS
    February 04, 2013 - 18:08

    How about more HST collected? After all how else would Dexter get the millions needed to help his billionaire friends? But wait,there's more. I would be willing to bet the farm that after NS Power is awarded the Muskrat Falls power they will again protect their stockholders and demand hundreds of millions more tax payers money to upgrade the equipment. So Arthur,there are answers to the high power rates,it's just that Dexter would like them to be kept from us.

  • B Chabassol
    February 04, 2013 - 11:12

    One of the reasons I moved back to British Columbia. It is just to expensive to live day to day in Nova Scotia. For a so called have not province it sure takes its toll on the middle class. I still miss it back home but would never consider living there again due to the taxes, power bills, and watching my truck rot out in the front yard due to road salt. The thing i have found is if people have nothing to compare their living standards to than what they are living is normal. A 1400 dollar power bill to heat your new energy effcient home is not normal.

  • Johnny smoke
    February 03, 2013 - 12:33

    I was not going to reply but not being a person to back down from a challenge I will give it my best shot. You see Arthur there is really no difference between the Tories, the Liberals or the N.D.P. They are like Walmart, Zellers, and Canadian Tire they all sell the made in China junk for top dollar+H.S.T. so that is why you get shafted, and the merchants and the government laugh all the way to the bank. It is the same with the power generation and distribution within this woeful place called Nova Scotia. Once we had a crown corporation owned by the taxpayers. The Tories and the Liberals over the years loaded it down with so many useless patronage appointments that over time it was so incumbered it could not pay it's way. So the Tories in their financial desperation sold it off to Emera for a fraction of it's worth and for "Future considerations" those future considerations were a guaranteed 9.25% rate of return, and sole control of the generation and transmission of power within Nova Scotia. In a nutshell that is why you are paying endless rate increases, and behold if the N.D.P. get their way you will look back on your bills at present and remember the good old days when you could make a slice of toast for less than a buck. As far as the Liberals are concerned, they have been frozen out of the last dozen or so years, but if you expect things to be any different, well then Arthur you are a very foolish person indeed. The moral of this story is. If you trust any syllable coming out of the mouth of any politician of any party, at any time, for any reason regarding financial or moral affairs, then I say again Arthur you are a very foolish person indeed.Thank You.