Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed.
Oh, you won’t find anyone official to say it. Yet.
Like relatives trying to appear cheery and optimistic around a loved one that’s been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the people in power are in the first stage of grief — denial.
The prognosis for Hydro was delivered three weeks ago at hearings before the Public Utilities Board where the utility was seeking punishingly higher rates for customers in Manitoba.
It took us this long to read through the hundred-plus pages of transcript, to decipher the coded language of the witnesses, to interpret what they were getting at, and, finally, to understand the terrible conclusion. We couldn’t believe it, just as, we’re sure, you can’t— so we did it all again, to get a second opinion, so to speak.
Hydro conceded to the PUB that it undertook a massive expansion program— involving three (it was once four) new dams and two new major powerlines (one in the United States)—which it could not afford.