Nova Scotia Power
by Daniel J Towsey
Wednesday June 4th 2008
I am writing this for a public record of my investigation into Nova Scotia power and its April application to the Utility And Review Board for a 12% – 14% increase in power rates for Jan 1 2009.
I am writing this because I do not trust the government and I fear for my safety.
In my research I discovered that before 1992, Nova Scotia Power was a non-profit publicly owned public utility and essential service.
After this date the public was told that Nova Scotia power had accumulated a huge debt.. Which was made to appear that the Province of Nova Scotia was incapable of managing this public utility properly and that it would hand the control over to a private management company.
The government of Nova Scotia did not do what would of been expected and go out and seek a suitable and existing experienced company to manage Nova Scotia Power.
I phoned the Premiers office and asked for information as to how and why a public utility was handed over to a for profit company, I then stated my view that, Nova Scotia power belongs to the people of Nova Scotia. I indicated that I feel that the government conspired against the people of Nova Scotia. And that I feel that the public has been ripped off and that a conspiracy [crime] has taken place to defraud the people of Nova Scotia.
I also asked them, why is it that every time they grant Nova Scotia Power an increase its rates, they do not increase the rates paid to people on assistance, fixed incomes or pensions.
It’s because the 20% of the will off people in this province work for the province or a corporation that reaps benefits from the government. And as such these rich people are not affected by the rates. As they have employment contracts that have a cost of living clause built in.
Since they don’t suffer, they can not have any compassion for the poor who are seriously harmed by the higher costs of electricity.
An increase in power rates has a disproportionately high effect on the poor. A dollar is much harder to come by for the poor than it is for the rich.
So the poor 80% of this province are paying a much higher percentage of their income than the rich for electricity.
I feel that there is no more middle class. There is just the really rich and the really poor.
Eventually a parent company by the name of Emera was created. I went to their site and studied their history. This company did not exist before it acquired Nova Scotia power.
The price of electricity has been going up ever since. This company is now making over $250 million in yearly earnings.. I read on their site that they made $345 million in 2007. This company has been making so much money from Nova Scotian’s that it has been buying up assets in other energy businesses.
The infrastructure of Nova Scotia power is the same today as it was before it was handed over to Emera. Everything that is there was bought and paid for by the Nova Scotia tax payers.
I asked the premier to please give me information as to how much Emera paid for this 4 billion dollar infrastructure. As Emera had no assets when it was created.
I also indicated that any profits made from this [ NS Power] public asset should be given back to the people of the province of Nova Scotia.
I was also surprised to see that there was no provisions made for Emera to pay off the preexisting debt of Nova Scotia Power.
So now the tax payers have lost this money making public asset. Which means that the people of Nova Scotia were not able to use Nova Scotia Power’s profits to pay off the debt. So now Nova Scotian’s lose twice, they have to pay off the debt plus interest and pay higher energy prices. Further increasing the poverty in this province.
Emera also now receives another public asset. That being our offshore natural gas. To run it’s large power plant at the Halifax harbor. You would think that this would of helped to bring the costs down for Nova Scotian’s.
I remember the news reporting that Emera stated that Natural gas was going to reduce their cost of producing electricity by 40%.
So I was shocked that a few months later they applied for an increase in their rates, and that the government of Nova Scotia granted it.
The tax payers have seen absolutely no benefits from their other resource being the natural gas.
Background Information on Nova Scotia
A couple of years ago It was stated by the government in news reports that Nova Scotia’s population of less than one million was the poorest province in the country.
Halifax having the majority of this population was stated to have the highest violent crime rate in the country.
Plus now there is a food bank in every neighborhood. Over 80,000 people go to the food bank every month.
Considering how small Nova Scotia’s population is, How does Emera make so much money?
It is a proven fact that poverty breeds crime.
I feel fascism is moving in a democracy is disappearing. In the past thirty years Nova Scotia has pretty will lost all its industries, Fisheries, Train Servicing Depots, Ship building, Mining, Cape Breton Foundry, Canning, Chocolate Making, Refinery, Military bases, and tourism. I’m sure there are more. I can’t think of any manufacturing left in this province.
It’s even almost impossible to find a family doctor.
I just received a phone call at 8 pm from Bob Manuel of the Nova Scotia energy department. He said that he was familiar with my request and that they would put together a report for me.
But when I spoke with him he knew nothing. His call was strange as he did not ask me anything and I had to tell him what information I was looking for.
He never indicated that he would call me back. I found it strange that he also did not have my address or e-mail.
So I really wondered who this guy really was.
I said to him that I was looking for answers to the questions that I asked the premiers office.
I also indicated to him that I needed this information for my article I was writing and also, so that I could be better prepared for my testimony at the up coming hearing on Nova Scotia Power’s rate increase application.
Thank you for reading this. I hope it was informative for you. I will write some more about this in the future.
If your a Nova Scotian, please call your politicians if you are concerned about the power rates. Pssssst! Get Involved..
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