YUB: protect or resign

Open letter to the Yukon Utilities Board: Thank you for your letter of Feb. 21, in reply to our request that all board members resign, as we believe you have not been serving the public interest.

Open letter to the Yukon Utilities Board:

Thank you for your letter of Feb. 21, in reply to our request that all board members resign, as we believe you have not been serving the public interest. We stand by this request.

In your response, you rationalize, “if a party disagrees with a decision of the board, the party may seek leave from the Court of Appeal to appeal the board’s decision.”

The Utilities Consumers’ Group has used this procedure before, only costing our representatives much time and expense while at the same time costing ratepayers, who have to pay for the board’s legal representatives.

The outcome is always the same, in that the board is awarded discretionary powers and its decisions are upheld as such.

However, when the board uses this discretionary power to not allow an issue the opportunity to be aired, such as continually posing the issue as “out of the scope” of the processes, then from our perspective the board is abusing its mandate.

During general rate applications, the Utilities Consumers’ Group has asked the board, over and over, to place a caveat on extra earnings the Yukon Energy Corporation and Yukon Electrical Company receive above their prescribed revenue requirement, in order to protect the ratepayer into the future.

Such board direction is always overlooked as is the case with the new income received from raising the industrial mining rates.

During the next general rate application, the electrical utilities will again argue that the board cannot go back and take away this extra income as it now falls under a loophole called “retroactive rate making” and they always get to keep this money.

When the Utilities Consumers’ Group asks the board to do something about this, as it is happening, the board tells us it is out of the scope of these proceedings.

Our question is: if you won’t protect the electrical ratepayers, why will you not take the honourable approach and resign?

Roger Rondeau

Utilities Consumers’ Group