Ad­vice worth tak­ing

The Labradorian - - Editorial -

Premier Dwight Ball says he doesn’t need ad­vice on how to keep peo­ple’s power bills af­ford­able (“Premier says he doesn’t need Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives’ ad­vice on power rates,” The Tele­gram, July 26). The peo­ple I’ve been hear­ing from this sum­mer dis­agree.

New­found­lan­ders and Labrado­ri­ans are barely cop­ing in the Ball Lib­er­als’ high-tax econ­omy, and fear they soon won’t be able to pay for power. The premier has pledged power bills won’t dou­ble, but af­ter three years, he has failed to de­liver a rate mit­i­ga­tion plan that will make this pos­si­ble. He can’t even pro­vide a tar­get power price that he ex­pects peo­ple to pay.

It’s time to bring this dis­cus­sion out from be­hind closed doors and find so­lu­tions peo­ple can trust.

That’s why I am ad­vis­ing the premier to re­fer the is­sues of rate mit­i­ga­tion to the Pub­lic Util­i­ties Board, where ratepayer rep­re­sen­ta­tives can have their voices heard and the best plan of ac­tion can be de­vel­oped openly to en­sure power is af­ford­able.

This ap­proach has sev­eral ad­van­tages over the se­cre­tive ap­proach the Ball Lib­er­als have taken.

First, it’s pub­lic. The Pub­lic Util­i­ties Board does its busi­ness in the open, not in the back rooms where the dis­cus­sions are now pre­sum­ably oc­cur­ring.

Sec­ond, it’s ev­i­dence based. Ev­ery claim can be chal­lenged on the facts. Ex­perts can sift through the op­tions to find those that stand up to scru­tiny best.

Third, it’s non­par­ti­san. The par­ti­san tone of the premier’s ap­proach is un­help­ful. The fo­cus here should be elec­tri­cal power, not po­lit­i­cal power.

Only by tak­ing pol­i­tics out of the equa­tion can we re­store peo­ple’s con­fi­dence that the pri­mary con­cern is mak­ing their elec­tric­ity af­ford­able.

A re­fer­ral to the PUB will lead to an im­par­tial rec­om­men­da­tion that will give the gov­ern­ment the plan of ac­tion it does not have. It will give peo­ple the comfort of know­ing pre­cisely what will be done to make their power rates af­ford­able.

That’s ad­vice worth tak­ing, premier.

Ches Cros­bie, leader

PC Party of New­found­land and Labrador

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.