HALIFAX – The cost of electricity emerged as a key issue during the first week of the Nova Scotia election campaign.
Nova Scotians pay some of the highest power bills in the country, which has sometimes upset ratepayers. Energy Minister Charlie Parker says he understands the anger, but the province must shed its reliance on coal-fired power plants and turn to renewable energy. He admits that means higher power rates — but no more than an additional two per cent per year.
The Liberals, meanwhile, are promising to break Nova Scotia Power’s monopoly. Liberal candidate Andrew Younger says that would make it easier for private renewable energy companies to compete with the utility and sell directly to ratepayers.
Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie says his party will freeze rates for five years if they win on October 8th. Baillie says the province’s commitment to get 40 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 is too ambitious and he is promising to delay that target by five years.