It hardly seems fair that Nova Scotia Power expects ratepayers to subsidize the several million dollars it pays in bonuses when most Nova Scotians are facing tough decisions on whether they should pay to heat their homes or put food on the table.
With the power corporation seemingly going back to the well time and time again for successive rate increases, it is frustrating to many to discover that some of the extra money they are shelling out in power bills is going to fund the bonuses paid to corporate executives.
It’s no surprise then when both the Liberals and Conservatives are calling upon the Darrell Dexter government to stand up to the power corporation – something it said it would do on numerous occasions when in opposition.
Liberal energy critic Andrew Younger says Nova Scotians have seen a 36 per cent increase in power rates and tens of millions of dollars in bonuses paid out over the last decade. He says both the Conservatives and the NDP had opportunities to end the bonuses, but chose not to and questioned why the NDP is not even uttering a whisper about the power corporation’s activities now that it is in power.
The Conservatives, who some blame for creating the mess in the first place, are calling on the NDP to tell the power corporation to sharpen its pencils and find other ways to cover the cost of these bonuses that this year are expected to total about $5.5 million.
The last few years have been rough ones for the power corporation in a public relations sense. It’s still trying to recover from the negative publicity it took several years ago in after the aftermath of hurricane Juan and White Juan. It has also taken a beating over going to the ratepayer to pay for upgrades caused by cuts it made to increase the return for the company’s shareholders.
Now it’s taking heat for going to the utility and review board over and over again for a series of increases without sufficient justification and, again, it’s going to take heat for going back to that same ratepayer to pay for bonuses.