When it comes to Manitoba Hydro, reliability is everything. It powers our economy to the tune of half a billion dollars every year, and it does so while providing the lowest power rates in North America. This huge benefit is good for families and businesses all around the province. The Hydro project, Bipole III, will allow Hydro to export new power being generated by northern dams, and it will ensure long-term power reliability.
Bipole III is a critical investment in our province’s economic future, and our government has recognized this. That’s why we are moving forward despite repeated calls to cancel the project.
Conservative Leader Hugh McFadyen has been misleading Manitobans once again when it comes to the west-side Bipole III line. While McFadyen continues to claim Bipole III on the west side will have a price tag of over $11,000 per family, the reality is Manitoba families will not pay one cent for Bipole III; it will be paid for by export sales.
In fact, at a Manitoba Hydro committee on May 30, Hydro president and CEO Bob Brennan stated that even if there were no export sales, the annual incremental cost of building Bipole III on the west side to Manitobans would be less than $13.68 a year over the life of the line.
In fact, if you multiply McFadyen’s number by the 325,000 families that live in Manitoba, you get $3.8 billion.
That’s more than the entire cost $3.2 billion of the new Bipole line and the new converters combined. That means he must be planning to cancel the converters and sell off another $600 million worth of Manitoba Hydro assets. That sounds like Phase 1 of his plan to privatize our utility.
Manitobans know they can’t trust the Tories to save Manitoba Hydro they remember when they promised not to sell off MTS. Manitobans know that it was Hugh McFadyen himself who was whispering advice in Gary Filmon’s ear when he stood in the legislature and he said, “We have no plans to sell the Manitoba Telephone System.” Less than two months later, the company was gone.
Hydro is Manitoba’s oil. We need to continue to make key investments like Bipole III that build on the strong reputation of our hydro as a clean and renewable resource, and our neighbours to the south are recognizing that.
On May 25, Premier Greg Selinger announced that we have signed agreements worth $4 billion in power sales to the U.S. It includes an agreement for a 250-megawatt (MW) sale of electricity to Minnesota Power, and a 100-MW sale to Wisconsin Public Service. Combined with a previously completed 125-MW sale to Northern States Power, these sales total 475 MW.
Our government supports Manitoba Hydro. We are committed to keeping Manitoba Hydro strong, growing and publicly owned for the benefit of all Manitobans.
Rosann Wowchuk Minister Responsible for Manitoba Hydro
TherealityisManitoba familieswillnotpay onecentforBipole III;itwillbepaidfor byexportsales.