NDP should address executive pay, return on equity before House session ends
HALIFAX, NS – The legislative session shouldn’t end until the NDP government has taken steps to make electricity more affordable for Nova Scotians says PC leader Jamie Baillie.
“The NDP are going to end the session without passing any legislation to help ratepayers,” said Baillie. “We have Bills before the House that will help protect ratepayers from the skyrocketing cost of electricity but the NDP are doing nothing to ensure Nova Scotians aren’t paying to simply line the pockets of the power company and its executives.”
Baillie says the NDP are ignoring the fact that their “bite the bullet” electricity plan is forcing businesses to close and industries to fail, which in turn causes higher power rates for everyone else.
“While Nova Scotians are taking home less money, the pay packages for the power companies top executives are going up,” said Baillie. “The NDP should be acting on behalf of ratepayers but instead, they’re more concerned with getting out of the Legislature so they can avoid further scrutiny. It’s just wrong.”
The PCs have introduced five bills in the House of Assembly aimed at Nova Scotia’s high power rates:
- The Ratepayer Fairness Act, would ensure decisions on Return on Equity are fair to ratepayers and not just shareholders. It would put an end to the practice of lawyers and consultants determining the profit Nova Scotia Power is entitled to and require the UARB to determine Nova Scotia Power's Return on Equity using a reasonable formula that is fair to consumers and uses peer organizations as a comparison.
- An Act to Provide for the Independent Review of Certain Capital Projects protects taxpayers and electricity ratepayers from being forced to foot the bill for expensive megaprojects.
- The Transparency in Power Rates Act requires any Nova Scotia government policy that would increase power rates to be approved by the Legislature. A portion of the power rate hike that Nova Scotians are facing is driven by the NDP government's “bite the bullet” Electricity Plan which the government claims will increase electricity costs by one or two per cent per year. The bill also would compel Nova Scotia Power to indicate what portion of any rate increase is caused by government policies.
- The Elimination of Bonuses from Power Rates Act would permanently take executive bonus pay out of the rates paid by customers.
- The Power Rate Reduction Review Act empowers a panel of consumers, fully independent of government, to identify existing policies that contribute to the cost of power and bring them forward for review by the Legislature. The purpose is to find ways to reduce power rates.