The Saskatchewan NDP is condemning the decision of the Saskatchewan government to approve of an overall 8 per cent increase in rates for SaskPower.
The new rates will result in an average increase of approximately $5 on residential customers’ bills starting this fall, and an additional $5 on April 1st next year, according to the government.
“The decision to increase rates is not taken lightly and came after a thorough review by the independent Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel,” says Minister Responsible for SaskPower Don Morgan. “World events have caused a significant rise in the price of natural gas, and with 42 per cent of Saskatchewan’s electricity coming from natural gas-fueled facilities, SaskPower requires additional revenue to maintain reliable operations.”
SaskPower critic Aleana Young in condemning the government decision to approve the overall eight per cent hike for SaskPower notes it comes as “Saskatchewan families, businesses and industries are struggling in an affordability crisis.”
“To announce an eight per cent increase to power bills on a summer day before the long weekend is a cowardly move from Scott Moe and his cabinet. Not to mention the Sask. Party plans to hike natural gas rates by 17% just days from now,” says Young. “If Scott Moe thinks his choices – to not provide Saskatchewan families any affordability relief, to hike taxes and fees, then compound those costs with utility rate hikes – are defensible, he should have the courage to get out of his closed-door meetings and explain himself to the people of this province.”
The Sask NDP further states in a release, “the increase comes as more Saskatchewan residents, industries, and businesses raise concerns about utility rate increases and the skyrocketing cost-of-living. Despite hinting at relief back in May, Scott Moe’s Sask Party has offered no new affordability measures while it continues to collect windfall resource and tax revenues.”