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Taxpayers Federation budget submission supports Hydro investigation and calls for spending freeze

October 25, 2018
Taxpayers Federation budget submission supports Hydro investigation and calls for spending freeze

Oct. 25, 2017

 

WINNIPEG, MB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is supporting the Manitoba government’s decision to review Hydro’s finances and calling for a spending freeze in its pre-budget submission. The full CTF submission is available at this LINK.

 

“Manitoba Hydro has wasted billions on the Bipole III project and Keeyask Generating Station and we support the government’s decision to launch an investigation to get answers for taxpayers,” said Todd MacKay, Prairie Director for the CTF. “Budgets depend on accountability and an investigation into the debacle at Hydro is vital to make sure it never happens again.”

 

The unnecessarily elongated route for the Bipole III transmission line inflated costs by $900 million and the Keeyask Generating Station was supposed to cost $6.5 billion, but the final bill is now projected to be up to $10.7 billion.

 

The province has now appointed former British Columbia premier Gordon Campbell to review the Hydro debacle.

 

The CTF is also calling on the Manitoba government to hold the line on spending. Last year’s deficit came in $145 million lower than budgeted at $695 million. However, Manitoba will pay $1 billion to cover interest charges on the existing debts this year. The deficit is projected to be $521 million this year.

 

The Manitoba government spent $16.9 billion in 2017-18. That’s $2 billion more than the province spent in 2013-14. Even after accounting for inflation, that’s a spending hike of 6.4 per cent.

 

“Manitoba is making important progress to turn around the province’s finances,” said MacKay. “But Manitoba can’t keep increasing spending. Balancing the budget will take tough decisions, but racking up debt will force even tougher decisions to cover soaring interest charges.”

 

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For more information, please contact:

Todd MacKay – CTF Prairie Director – 306-582-7717 – tmackay@taxpayer.com

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