Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs supports the Public Utilities Board to deny Manitoba Hydro’s request to stay rate freeze for First Nations
June 4, 2018
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
For Immediate Release
June 1, 2018
Treaty One Territory, MB. Today the Manitoba Public Utilities Board made a decision to deny Manitoba Hydro’s request to “stay” the rate freeze for First Nations customers on reserve while it challenges the Public Utilities Board’s order that created a specific rate class for First Nations living on reserve. The Board also decided to take written submissions on whether they should vary their order, at the end of June.
After following its own robust process, on May 1, 2018, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) made important progress toward reconciliation by taking into account the unique housing and energy challenges faced by First Nations communities. It did this by ordering that there should be no Hydro rate increase for First Nations people living on reserve. The special rate for on-reserve residents begins today.
AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas stated, “AMC participated actively in the Rate Application Hearing. Hydro made their argument over thousands of pages of documents and many days of hearings and they failed to convince the Board of their position. This desperate attempt by Hydro to have another kick at the can is unfortunate.”
Grand Chief Dumas also said, “It is disappointing that Hydro asked the PUB to stop the rate from taking effect today, and we applaud the PUB for denying Hydro’s request. The special rate for on-reserve residents is a great first step toward energy justice in Manitoba, and we are pleased to see it come into effect today.”
Grand Chief Dumas concluded, “By creating a new rate for First Nations living on Reserve, the PUB recognized that First Nations living on Reserve face unique circumstances in Manitoba. Energy poverty affects First Nations more often and more seriously than anyone else in Manitoba. If required, AMC will take decisive action to protect our people and ensure that progress continues to be made. We are very disappointed in Manitoba Hydro, its CEO Kelvin Shepherd, and its Board of Directors, for taking this disrespectful and unfortunate action. We call on Manitoba Hydro to withdraw its application for review and join us in a new and respectful relationship moving forward.”