Thursday, March 6, 2008

Not on my watch you don't says Keir.

I don't know if writing this blog will open the proverbial can of worms or not, but here it goes. Oh, and before you decide to react to what you read, I may or may not respond due to sheer volume. I suspect people may have something to say about the province's Public Utility and your monthly power bill or platform promises on the HST energy rebate.

Whether you think it's just high praise for a fellow Cabinet Minister or not, Jack Keir, Minister of Energy has earned high marks from New Brunswickers by ordering a review of NB Power's rate increase. Great job Jack!

If you haven't met Minister Keir or have yet to see him in action during question period, he's exactly what people like to see in a politician. A straight shooter with a cool approach to one of the more difficult files in government, Keir has quickly proven to many that he is an asset to our provincial cabinet.

Yesterday Keir demonstrated his leadership by putting the breaks on NB Power's 'automatic file and receive' 3% rate increase with the Energy and Utilities Board. In fact, this may possibly be the first time a review of the legislated ability to increase rates has been ordered by any Minister of Energy in any government of New Brunswick.

It's apparent that Jack believes in transparency and a checks-and-balances system for ratepayers by making this announcement. Halting this process to justify what many consider an automatic increase on rate payers is a good thing and in my books deserves top grades.

Thanks for reading,



Charles LeBlanc said...

Ohhhhh Boooyyyyy!!!!

Will Jack write the same about you in his blog????

Are all Ministers going to have a blog praising each other???


Spinks said...

Good move by Jack but there is still the little...ahem...issue after the last election of the promised rebate. As I wrote at the time, at least delivering the first one that people were expecting (and promised) would have been the right thing to do. Clearly (at least in hindsight) the money was there.

Canadian Rods said...

I agree wholeheartedly. It was great to hear on the news that Keir wasn't going to let NB Power get away with their announcement of a 3% increase within days of their previous rate hike being rolled back.

That move deserves a handshake or a pat on the back. However, I would stand out on the street on the coldest of days and applaud him (and the rest of government) if he/they would remove the HST from home heating sources, if not for all then at the very least, for those who can least afford it.

When the Graham government took power, the HST rebate was rescinded and called a flawed public policy. The rebate for low income families that replaced it has, so far this year, only been utilized by half of the number of people eligible to receive it. Two questions come to mind: Are both policies flawed? And is there a better way to get that money in to the hands of those who need it?

In a climate such as ours, to burden our poor with a 13% tax on something as necessary as heat is wrong on so many levels. Now granted, an HST rebate does not encourage conservation, but how do you convince those faced with deciding between heat and food to conserve any more than they already are?

mikel said...

Such volume! Who exactly are the 'new brunswickers' giving out the high marks. Seeing as how 3% is barely above the inflation rate for the year (2.2%) I think the jaded response says alot about using the blog as a PR tool. Isn't there a reason that 3% was set as sn acceptable rate increase in the first place? So is that legislation going to be changed so that no more automatic accepted rate increases are allowed or is it going to be left 'as is' so that ministers can sound like 'straight shooters'?

Charles warned ya that the blogworld is not an easy place:)