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AMC pleased with dismissal of Manitoba Hydro’s appeal of on-reserve rate freeze

Press Release

Treaty One Territory, MB – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is extremely pleased that the Public Utilities Board (PUB) dismissed Manitoba Hydro’s attempt to overturn the new “First Nations On-Reserve” rate class and the rate freeze assigned to customers in that category.

“The new rate freeze for First Nations people living on reserve is something that AMC fought for and that we asked the Public Utilities Board to order,” stated Grand Chief Arlen Dumas. “The PUB did the right thing in standing by its decision, which Manitoba Hydro tried to overturn.”

In making its decision to dismiss Manitoba Hydro’s “application to review and vary” the First Nations on-reserve rate freeze, the PUB agreed with many of the arguments made by the AMC.

“We know Hydro’s rate increases are going to have a disproportionate impact on low-income people and on First Nations people on reserve,” stated Grand Chief Dumas. “Hydro is saying that the PUB has its hands tied and can’t do anything about this impact. We know that the impact of rate increases on First Nations people on reserve is more serious because of substandard housing on reserve and because reserve communities generally don’t have access to natural gas as an alternative to Hydro. The PUB is absolutely right to take these factors into account in setting Hydro rates.”

Grand Chief Dumas also called on Hydro to change its ways: “This behaviour by Manitoba Hydro is unbecoming of a representative of the Crown. It does not promote reconciliation. It is not respectful. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs will fight as far and as long as we need to in order to ensure that Manitoba Hydro’s attempts to overturn this important policy are rejected. I call on Manitoba Hydro to respect the Board’s ruling and prevent the deterioration of Hydro’s relationship with First Nations that would result from more appeals.”

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