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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fight the power

Effort seeks to de-privatize Nova Scotia Power

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 8:50 AM

click to enlarge nova-scotia-power_copy.jpg
A growing movement to de-privatize Nova Scotia Power Inc. has been gaining traction, at least at the grassroots level. Over the last few months, anti-capitalist action group Solidarity Halifax has been conducting teach-ins, door-to-door campaigns and general rabble rousing in an attempt to put the issue into the public mindset.

Nova Scotia Power has done nothing to ingratiate themselves to said public; in the span of 10 days in May the company managed to ask the Utility and Energy Review Board for a six percent rate increase over the next two years, announced millions in salary increases for the top brass and held a lavish waterfront party for its executives.

So far the hypothetical price tag involved in a buy-back of the power company---several billion dollars, at least---has kept any provincial politicos from championing the cause, but this hasn't stopped Solidarity Halifax's Power to the People campaign.

“Nova Scotia Power has made record profits---over $120 million in 2011---while raising rates six times in the past 10 years,” says Brian Crouse, active in the campaign. “[NSPI is] moving incredibly slowly towards green energy and green jobs, and sometimes even shutting off peoples' power in the middle of winter. Twenty years of a private, for-profit monopoly is enough! Under democratic, public ownership, income from the utility would be used for public priorities in Nova Scotia instead of going towards corporate profits.”

Thursday, June 7, at 2pm, the group is holding a pirate-themed protest at the Halifax Ferry Terminal; the protest coincides with NSPI’s parent-company Emera's annual shareholders meeting. Similar actions have been confirmed for 12 noon in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

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