Ratepayers deserve better

Ratepayers deserve better Open letter to Premier Darrell Pasloski and Energy Minister Brad Cathers: The Utilities Consumers' Group wrote you several letters concerning your appointed arms-length government bodies, the Yukon Energy and Development Corpora

Open letter to Premier Darrell Pasloski and Energy Minister Brad Cathers:

The Utilities Consumers’ Group wrote you several letters concerning your appointed arms-length government bodies, the Yukon Energy and Development Corporations, running amok on their spending with no regard for the public purse. Why have you not reined in this spillage of public funds? Do your titles not say, “responsible for”?

What about our questions regarding “obligation to serve” all new industrial customers? What are you doing to remedy this quandary?

To this date we have not received a response or action on these vital issues, not even a letter of acknowledgement.

In the meantime, our publicly-owned corporations just received the blessings from your other appointed arms-length government body, at a cost of $1.2 million plus, to regulate an increase to Yukon ratepayers of over 12 per cent for 2012/13. The Yukon Utilities Board found a collective savings of a whopping half million dollars in their deep deliberations, while at the same time sanctioning the regulatory costs stated above. Does your government endorse the spending of over a million dollars to save a half a million dollars? When will you provide Yukon electrical ratepayers with our continued efforts to facilitate regulatory reform?

When the hoopla settles in July, with all the accumulated rate changes, our electrical bills will rise by almost 17 per cent prior to this rate hearing. Is it now true your government plans to raise these rates again next spring by approximately 26 per cent, because, according to your gospel, the interim electrical refund is not an economically sound policy?

Why can you not acknowledge that Yukoners, who truly own these corporations, should receive a dividend from our long-time payout of all previous energy infrastructure? After all, are these corporations not publicly owned utilities? Yukon Development Corp., which is the sole shareholder of Yukon Energy, will now take in a profit of over $12 million per year. So why can’t they provide a refund back to the real owners?

And just where did you get your numbers on the amount of interim electrical rebate paid out last year? The latest Yukon Energy annual report does not qualify your numbers.

If your government does not believe in rate relief to residents, then why do you persist in facilitating corporate welfare to the mining industry? Why are we obligated to hook these multinationals onto our grid system when we do not have enough surplus energy to serve them?

History shows us that in order to go forward with even medium-sized energy projects, i.e. Mayo B, Aishihik 3 and the Pelly/Stewart transmission grid connection, which were necessary to provide power for new industrial projects, your government had to secure a bond indemnity of $100 million, under your arms-length corporate umbrella. Now, we Yukoners must pay this back! Not the mining companies.

Roger Rondeau

Utilities Consumers’ Group