Manitoba NDP Promise to Freeze Hydro Rates
Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg MB – Today, Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew announced that a Manitoba NDP government would freeze hydro rates for one year to make life more affordable and announced plans to repeal Bill 36.
“The cost of everything is going up, but your hydro bill doesn’t have to,” said Kinew. “The provincial government should leverage the clean, affordable energy of hydro to deliver cheaper monthly bills. A Manitoba NDP government will freeze hydro rates and stop the privatization of Manitoba hydro.”
Under the PCs, families are paying 20% more on their hydro bills since 2016. Heather Stefanson raised hydro rates at the cabinet table, even during the pandemic. Instead of strengthening the PUB and keeping hydro public, the PCs have broken up pieces of hydro and sold them off with plans for more privatization. This summer, the PCs promised that they will hike rates again and introduce surge pricing for Manitobans who use electricity during peak times. When discussing the proposed rate hike, Stefanson’s handpicked Hydro Board Chair compared Manitoba Hydro to Dollarama, and worried that rates may be “too cheap.”
“I’ve known hard times, and I can see how many seniors and working families in Manitoba are struggling,” said Assiniboia senior, Anne Richen. “Wab and the NDP understand what we’re going through and they want to help. The hydro freeze will make life more affordable for people across Manitoba.”
Fast Facts: Stefanson’s Record on Hydro
1. The Stefanson Government has raised hydro rates by nearly 20% since 2016, with another 4.8% increase planned (Winnipeg Sun, May 14/23).
2. The Stefanson PCs plan to implement surge pricing, which will increase hydro rates for Manitobans during times of peak demand, like on the hottest and coldest days of the year (WFP, July 21/23).
3. The Stefanson PCs have sold off profitable subsidiaries of Manitoba Hydro, like Teshmont and their Wall report recommends selling off “non-core” functions of hydro (CTV, Oct 1/20; CBC, Nov 30/22).
- 2016: https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/2016/04/28/pub-approves-336-increase-to-hydro-rates
- 2017: https://www.hydro.mb.ca/articles/2017/07/pub_grants_manitoba_hydro_interim_rate_increase/
- 2018: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/pub-hydro-electricity-rate-pallister-manitoba-board-1.4643083
- 2019: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-hyrdo-rate-increase-2019-1.5152743
- 2020: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-hydro-rate-increase-2-9-percent-electricity-public-utilities-board-1.5757419
- 2022, 2023, 2024: https://winnipegsun.com/news/provincial/consumers-coalition-raising-concerns-over-hydro-rate-hikes