Cabinet may veto power rate hikes: Lord
Last updated Feb 7 2006 10:52 AM AST
Premier Bernard Lord says his cabinet may veto a proposal to hike power rates by 12 per cent if he can be convinced the added cost will devastate New Brunswick's heavy industry.
Lord is in Helsinki, Finland this week to meet with the owners of a struggling mill operation in Miramichi. The UPM Miramichi mill recently closed for three months, temporarily laying off 450 people. The mill's owners have instructed management to turn a profit in 2006 or face a permanent shutdown.
Lord says a proposed 12 per cent rate hike from NB Power is causing the most worry for the mill's Finnish owners. The Public Utilities Board is hearing arguments for and against the rate hike this week in Saint John, and will make a decision soon.
* FROM FEB. 2, 2006: NB Power CEO talks tough on rate hikes
But Lord says whatever the PUB decides, cabinet has ultimate control over power rates in the province. "We can decide to say no to the decision of the PUB, and reverse the decision, or do something else," he said. "And I'm keeping that option open for the government because I am concerned what it will do to the industries in New Brunswick."
Electricity rates aren't UPM's only concern. Even without a power rate hike, managers must find a way to shave 12 per cent off labour costs before the mill reopens May 1.
Municipal, business and union leaders from Miramichi accompanied Lord to the meeting in Finland. They talked with UPM executives for more than five hours, but could not convince them to remove the profit ultimatum from the mill.
Lord admits the situation is critical, and says his government will do all it reasonably can to help – but that may not be enough. "They don't want to stay in Miramichi if they continue to lose money."
But Chris Allison, president of the local union, says the government can do more to help make up for the 12 per cent reduction in labour costs. "I was kind of hoping the government would give us the 12 per cent."
The UPM Miramichi facility has not turned a profit in 11 years. It is UPM's only Canadian mill, and its most expensive.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Cabinet may veto power rate hikes: Lord
Well? I have a great example of what can or cannot happen when you’re dealing with a slumlord.
A lady used to live at 108 Brunswick Street and she had no choice but to take the place because she had little money.
She soon found out that the windows weren’t sealed and during the winter the snow would go through the door.
She also noticed mould would appear in her place and she began to be sick.
To make matter worse?
The place wasn’t properly insulated so the electricity bill went way up.
Good hearted MLA Abel LeBlanc heard about her situation and work very hard to get her somewhere else.
Months before she left, mice started running around the place.
It was terrible.
While she was moving, we noticed mould all over the place.
We took pictures as evidence and I went to the Fredericton building inspector Doug Overbo.
I told him the whole story but nothing was done.
I went to their office on many occasions and told them the workers who cleans or take care of the place only paints over the mould therefore the new tenants wouldn’t have a clue what’s going on?
The place was empty for months until last week.
Some young people moved in and I know it’s hard to believe but I do have a heart.
These people could have young kids with them? Who knows?
I knocked at the door and warned them that the place is full of mould.
The conversation lasted a few seconds and I left the area.
We got the picture of the mould and the mice.
I told the Fredericton building inspector about this.
I even give the Doug Overbo the phone number of the lady but he never called.
I wish that the two days conference would have been in the Capital because I could have told the Government that we have a building inspector in Fredericton who just doesn’t care.
Many believe that because this is the Capital of New Brunswick? Everything is just dandy!!!
But this is surely not the case.
The building inspector Doug Overbo should had have the decency to investigate this urgent issue.
The new tenants are going to get sick but we have people in City hall that just doesn’t care.
JESUS CHRIST said: "A NEW COMMAND I GIVE YOU: LOVE
ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, SO YOU MUST
LOVE ONE ANOTHER. BY THIS ALL MEN WILL KNOW THAT
YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES, IF YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER."
( JOHN 13:34-35 *NIV )
Now as God's Children we are to love and help one
another. After all, one doesn't have to travel very far to find
someone in need.. Someone who is sick, friendless, or
homeless etc., for many may be found in every Town or City!
Therefore it is written; OFFER HOSPITALITY TO ONE
ANOTHER WITHOUT GRUMBLING. EACH ONE SHOULD
USE WHATEVER GIFT HE HAS RECEIVED TO SERVE
OTHERS, FAITHFULLY ADMINISTERING GOD'S GRACE IN
ITS VARIOUS FORMS. ( 1 PETER 4:9-10 )
So Charles, why not help those in need when you have the
opportunity too, and; LET US NOT BECOME WEARY IN
DOING GOOD, FOR AT THE PROPER TIME WE WILL
REAP A HARVEST IF WE DO NOT GIVE UP.
( GALATIANS 6:9 )
After all we are to be reflectors of God's Love, so; ABOVE
ALL, LOVE EACH OTHER DEEPLY, BECAUSE LOVE
COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SINS. Amen.
( 1 PETER 4:8 )
With My Love & Prayers,
your servant Allen
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Apostle Paul Ministries, P O Box 55996, Hayward, CA 94545
(c) Copyright 2006 by Apostle Paul Ministries
This is one member of the P.C. Party that I always
In the spring, he spoke loud and clear against the
Irving's monopoly of Newspapers in this Province.
He's great choice to be in the Cabinet.
As for the other guy behind me?
Could he be the new Health Minister?
I truly believe that it would be political suicide for
any backbencher to accept a Cabinet possition.
What do you think?