Saturday, September 18, 2010

I'm Stunned... at this grasp for power!

I go away for a couple of days and POW... breaking news Buy Maritime Electric!!!! I'm still stunned at the headlined and obviously the Tory candidate that suggested this is "totally stunned" and in my thinking is one of the crazies ideas ever floated by a potential party leader here on PEI... I'm reckoning with these kind of promises Mr. McCardle should garner about 63 votes out of the potential 3,000 candidates... the sad thing is that there are a few in the Liberal party that are of the same mentality so thank God that they didn’t appoint Allan Rankin to a Commission that had control over Maritime Electric or we’d all be singing the “blues” with acoustical guitars... I’ll certainly have more to say on this subject but I’m off to the “Bush” to experience another well oiled public corporation at work losing money...
Buy Maritime Electric: Tory candidate
Thursday, September 16, 2010
CBC News
A candidate for P.E.I.'s Progressive Conservative leadership is calling for the province's privately owned electrical utility, Maritime Electric Co., to become a Crown corporation.
Fred McCardle says a provincially owned utility could keep power rates down.
"As leader of the Progressive Conservative party and as premier of P.E.I. after the election of 2011, the province of P.E.I. will purchase the shares of Maritime Electric and end this charade of rate hikes that's crippling our economy," McCardle said at a leaders' town hall meeting Tuesday night.
On Thursday, McCardle said he didn't know how much it would cost to buy the company from Fortis Inc. It is regulated by the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission.
He said he's confident government ownership would lower rates.
"We can't attract industry," he told CBC News. "These rates have people, senior people, they're threatened by losing their homes over this power rate."
The most recent rate hike from the utility happened over the summer, with monthly electricity bills for the average household increasing by $20 to $25.
Government purchase of Maritime Electric is not a new idea. In 1994, then-Liberal premier Catherine Callbeck tried to buy up all the company's shares and nearly succeeded.
McCardle's suggestion has reignited the debate among other leadership candidates.
"Electricity rates are too high," said Olive Crane, another leadership hopeful.
"To purchase the shares of Maritime Electric though, at this time, when you think the Ghiz government has us in a deficit situation … it's really not possible."
Leadership vote Oct. 2
Jamie Ballem, a former Tory energy minister, agreed the system needs to be changed, but not by buying the utility.
He said Maritime Electric should continue to distribute power, and the government-owned P.E.I. Energy Corporation should take over purchasing that power.
"The energy corporation could go out and be the agency that buys the power. Goes to the best market," said Ballem. "Let us, let the government or the public agency turn around and sell the power to Maritime Electric for the best rate."
At least 3,000 delegates are expected at the Progressive Conservative leadership convention on Oct. 2.


Anonymous said...

Is Ballem the defacto candidate?

Some tell me he is best suited to go up against Ghiz. I think this is false. Although Crane needs to keep improving on smoothness and delivery (and they tell me she is and is taking training) she is going to be able to attract new candidates and the swing vote much more than Ballem.

Ballem's slate of candidates would include old candidates like Andy Mooney and Cletus Dunn and Mike Currie. Sorry guys, although these guys are fine people for the most part, that team got blown out of the water.

But will that logic come through in next month's convention? Or am I out in left field?

Anonymous said...

Ballem will have to do better than Mooney, Dunn and Currie if he wants to present a viable alternative to Ghiz.
I don't see the depth in Crane to put a team together and I don't think she has the support of party brass.
We will see what next month brings.

Regarding Tim being "stunned"... at the grasp of power.
I don't think it is a grasp of power. I think the problem lies in the Maritime Electric Act and how Tim's favorate agency IRAC regulates Maritime Electric.
The problem is that politicians haven't got a clue how to write an act that gives an incentive to the utility to be efficient and reduce cost.
Just my two cents worth.