Rate protests aimed at de­ci­sion-mak­ers, not em­ploy­ees

The Labradorian - - Editorial - Paul Lane, In­de­pen­dent MHA District of Mount Pearl-south­lands

I think it’s fair to say that most cit­i­zens of New­found­land and Labrador are very wor­ried and frus­trated with con­stant elec­tric­ity rate in­creases as well as the uncer­tainty as­so­ci­ated to the po­ten­tially sig­nif­i­cant in­creases head­ing our way in the not so dis­tant fu­ture. Many have ex­pressed this frus­tra­tion in a very tan­gi­ble way through the sign­ing of pe­ti­tions, calls and emails to their gov­ern­ment mem­ber, the premier’s of­fice, the Pub­lic Util­i­ties Board (PUB) as well as the util­i­ties them­selves.

Some have called in to ex­press their anger on ra­dio call-in shows, ex­pressed their con­cerns through so­cial me­dia or have writ­ten let­ters to the editor. Some have taken the ini­tia­tive to demon­strate out­side the Con­fed­er­a­tion Build­ing and/or the of­fices of the PUB.

While this fear, frus­tra­tion and anger is very real, I think I speak for ev­ery­one when I say that it is in no way di­rected at or a re­flec­tion on the hard-work­ing em­ploy­ees of NL Hy­dro and New­found­land Power, many of whom work in very dan­ger­ous en­vi­ron­ments in all types of weather.

While this fear, frus­tra­tion and anger is very real, I think I speak for ev­ery­one when I say that it is in no way di­rected at or a re­flec­tion on the hard-work­ing em­ploy­ees of NL Hy­dro and New­found­land Power, many of whom work in very dan­ger­ous en­vi­ron­ments in all types of weather.

We all rec­og­nize that you are our fam­ily mem­bers, our neigh­bours and our friends. We ap­pre­ci­ate your hard work and com­mit­ment and re­al­ize it must be very chal­leng­ing for you to go to work ev­ery day hear­ing so much neg­a­tiv­ity.

And while it may sound en­cour­ag­ing to hear our gov­ern­ment pro­claim that they have a plan in the works that will al­le­vi­ate the peo­ple’s con­cerns, that will re­sult in no fur­ther rate in­creases (be­yond the norm) and no in­creases in tax­a­tion, un­til such time this de­tailed plan is pre­sented publicly, this anger and frus­tra­tion will likely con­tinue. Un­til this plan is pre­sented it will likely be con­sid­ered by most to be noth­ing more than po­lit­i­cal rhetoric.

So as this very se­ri­ous is­sue con­tin­ues to un­fold publicly, please re­mem­ber this is about those in po­si­tions of power who are not per­form­ing to the peo­ple’s ex­pec­ta­tions. This is about what many would con­sider cor­po­rate greed. This is about en­sur­ing our cit­i­zens, par­tic­u­larly our se­niors, don’t have to choose be­tween food, heat and med­i­ca­tion. This is about stem­ming the flow of young fam­i­lies to the main­land and pro­vid­ing our cit­i­zens with an­swers and with hope.

So whether you’re a lines­per­son, a power en­gi­neer, or work in an ad­min­is­tra­tive sup­port po­si­tion at our util­i­ties, thank you for what you do to en­sure we have a re­li­able elec­tri­cal sys­tem. This fight is not about you but is ac­tu­ally for you, as your fam­i­lies will be im­pacted the same as the rest of us.

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