PCs Flip Flop on Hydro Privatization – But Manitobans Know the Truth

December 1, 2022

Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg MB--One day after releasing a report demonstrating their intent to sell off Manitoba Hydro, the PC government has flip flopped on an NDP bill to protect Manitoba Hydro and its subsidiaries from privatization.

“The PCs have actually waved their plan to privatize on a piece of paper in front of Manitobans—and now they expect families to believe they won’t privatize Hydro. They’ve denied their plan for years, but the truth is they have been secretly privatizing our Crown utility piece by piece behind closed doors,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “They voted against this bill almost exactly two years ago. Manitobans have seen their privatization plan and families are ready for a government that keeps Hydro public and affordable.”

For the second time since the PCs took office, NDP Hydro Critic Adrien Sala introduced The Manitoba Hydro Amendment Act (Referendum Before Privatization of Subsidiary). In November 2020 the PCs voted against the bill—leaving the door to privatization open. When the bill came to a vote a second time in the House this morning, the PCs flip flopped on it.

Currently, in order to privatize Manitoba Hydro, a referendum must be held in which the majority of voters approve of it. Sala’s bill strengthens these protections by requiring a referendum prior to the privatization of any subsidiary of the utility.

“This bill is about protecting Hydro from the PCs plan and keeping rates affordable for families in the face of rising costs, but the PCs are using it as a shield for their secret plan to privatize,” said Sala. “Not only have they literally sold off parts of Hydro, they’ve produced a report confirming their intent to privatize it. No one believes this government when it comes to Hydro.”