By Brooke Penner
Source: Winnipeg Free Press, Letters to the Editor
I am sincerely tired of hearing the same baseless claims made about Bipole III. A west-side Bipole III will not cost each Manitoba family $11,748. In fact, it is Tory Leader Hugh McFadyen who believes we are not paying enough for hydro and thinks we should have rates hiked to market rates.
Manitobans will continue to enjoy low hydro rates, far below market rates, even after the construction of Bipole III. Hydro uses export sales to subsidize the sale of power within Manitoba, allowing us to purchase electricity for less than the market rate.
Put the “priceless” boreal forest aside and let’s get down to the hard economic reality that we would lose export sales to the U.S. if we went down the east side. State legislatures have set standards for the percentage of their energy that is renewable. They have also set standards for what energy qualifies and, surprisingly, not all hydroelectric power is the same. Hydroelectricity from prior developments will not qualify and if the government tries to ram the Bipole down the east side, neither will our future energy production.