March 4, 2021
Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg, MB – The Manitoba NDP has learned Manitoba’s Auditor General is investigating allegations of government interference into the operations of Manitoba Hydro International (MHI), including issuing a stop-sell order on the subsidiary.
“When it comes to Hydro, Manitobans just don’t trust this PC government,” said Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “An investigation from the Auditor General is a serious indication that the Pallister government’s plan for Hydro isn’t in the best interest of Manitoba families.
It’s our hope this investigation provides the public with answers and reveals why it is important to stop the PCs from privatizing Hydro and raising rates for families.”
In September 2020, MHI was directed to stop entering into all new contracts, including MHI’s consultancy and telecom divisions. The move cost MHI tens of millions of dollars in international contracts and caused chaos for its staff. Last month, Manitoba Hydro announced it was officially winding down MHI.
The Pallister government’s plan to break up and sell off parts of Manitoba Hydro was reinforced by former Conservative Premier Brad Wall’s recent political report on Hydro. Wall recommended Hydro focus on “core” parts of the Crown’s business and sell off any subsidiaries or divisions that do not align with the government’s mission. The Premier has refused to say which subsidiaries or divisions will be privatized but he has already sold off consulting arm Teshmont and raised rates without public input.
“Manitobans know that privatization leads to higher monthly bills,” said Manitoba NDP Critic for Hydro, Adrien Sala. “Hydro is our most valuable public resource and we simply can’t afford to sell it off to private companies and end up paying higher rates like they do in Ontario. But that is the path the PC government is paving. We're listening to Manitobans and we’re going to keep fighting to keep Hydro public and affordable so we can build a clean energy future here in our province.”