May 15, 2020
Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, MB – Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew has written to the Chair of the Manitoba Public Utilities Board (PUB) asking the Board to stop Pallister’s plan to layoff 700 Manitoba Hydro workers and hold hearings into his directive to cut $86 million dollars from the utility.
“Manitoba Hydro has made it clear that Mr. Pallister’s directive will not only hurt families already struggling to make ends meet during a pandemic, it will put service levels at risk,” said Kinew. “But the government has refused to submit to questioning on this directive, whether it be in the House or in a committee. As the independent body overseeing Manitoba Hydro, we are urging the PUB to issue an order to stop the cuts and assess the risk it will impose to our most important Crown utility.”
The PUB serves to provide general supervision over all public utilities and is able to issue orders.
The Public Utilities Board Act specifies the Board may investigate a matter upon receiving a complaint in writing or via request of the Legislature. In his letter, Kinew noted he intends to have the Legislative Assembly formally request that the Board call a hearing.
“The Premier is using a health pandemic to justify thousands of public sector job cuts despite experts warning it will put the public services families rely on, like Hydro, at risk. What’s worse, he’s refusing to be questioned on those cuts,” said Kinew. “The Premier has a responsibility to be accountable to Manitoba workers. The NDP Official Opposition is fighting to protect all jobs and we will do everything possible to hold this government to account.”