I understand now why Nova Scotia Power fought to keep sections of that audit confidential. It paints their executives in a bad light. Seems the power corp didn't have the best interests of its customers in mind when it came to getting the cheapest price for natural gas to burn at Tuft's Cove. No surprise there. We already knew the Liberty Consulting Group audit says the utility overspent $22 million the past two years and ratepayers should be refunded. The redacted portions of the audit, now public information, tell us why. It blamed a cosy relationship between Nova Scotia Power and its natural gas provider and because its parent company, Emera, is deeply involved in the natural gas market. The audit says NSP occasionally puts its shareholders interests before ratepayers. Again, no surprise for ratepayers. Good to see this company's practices are now out there for all to see.
Energy Minister Charlie Parker surprised us last evening with his promise to bring in legislation on power rates. Unfortunately the Dexter government won't be rolling back Nova Scotia Power's 6% rate increase over the next two years. Parker's promising to ensure taxpayers do not bear the cost of any executive bonuses and to limit the amount ratepayers must pay toward executive salaries. Why are we paying any part of those salaries? This is a profitable company. Let the shareholders cover it. Parker says the moves will save ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, a paltry savings really when factored into the larger budgetary picture. "A knee-jerk reaction," says Tory leader Jamie Baillie. Yup.
Ray Taavel's family, including his partner, along with a close friend of the murdered Halifax resident, are suggesting yesterday's report on access rules for patients at the East Coast Forensic Hospital doesn't address safety issues. There needs to be a greater emphasis on protecting the public Taavel's family said in a statement. And friend Tynette Deveaux told reporters this is just a report by experts for experts. She says the community was never consulted about the review and there's no acceptance of any negligence in Ray's death. Taavel was beaten to death 5 months ago. Andre Noel Denny is charged with his murder. Denny had been given a one hour pass that day but failed to return to the hospital when the hour was up. A caller to my News 95.7 radio show yesterday suggested if a person's been ordered to the forensic hospital, they should never be allowed out unescorted. Those are the kinds of questions the report doesn't address.
I see where students at Halifax West High are upset they've lost their parking areas at the school. The two parking zones were barricaded when they arrived for classes Monday morning. Seems they've only themselves to blame. Police say it's a response made after years of litter and graffiti complaints from the public and if the students want their parking spaces back they'll have to come up with a solution to end the problems. The ball's in your court now kids. What are you going to do with it?
Tuxedo Stan's run's for the Halifax mayoralty is getting some international attention. Stan's a cat and his candidacy is an effort to bring attention to the need for a trap, neuter and release program for the estimated 100,000 feral cats living within HRM's boundaries. Retired veterinarian Hugh Chisholm's behind the campaign. He says Stan's been featured on U.S. websites and even made the Sky News Arabia Network. Let's hope those elected to run the city October 20th are also listening.
Have a great day. Get involved. And if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.