McNeil: Skyrocketing Power Bills Taking Resources from Classrooms
Liberal leader Stephen McNeil says while power prices are putting a strain on home budgets, school board power bills show electricity rates are also draining resources from our children’s classrooms.
“The Halifax board cut its energy use by more than 13 per cent since 2003, but their power costs have risen by more than 24 per cent over the same period to $5.5 million,” says McNeil. “The Tri-County board pays more than $1.1 million each year in power - their bill has more than doubled since 2005.”
“In its first three years, the Dexter government slashed $65 million from public education and did nothing to prevent power rate increases,” says McNeil. “Both of those factors put a squeeze on the classroom because as the government cut, schools' power bills soared.”
McNeil says that school boards are consuming less, but their costs continue to climb.
“School boards right across our province are doing what they can to combat the rising price of electricity, but the fact is dollars that should be invested in the classroom are ending up in the coffers of Nova Scotia Power.”
“The Dexter government’s inaction on power prices combined with the complacency of previous Conservative governments is draining resources from classrooms and our children’s education is suffering because of it.”
McNeil says Liberals are committed to reducing power costs and his government would remove at least $46 million each year from power bills by shifting the NDP electricity tax to NSP shareholders, cutting NSP’s guaranteed profits and by breaking Nova Scotia Power’s monopoly.
“We know power rates hurt our economy and now we know they are hurting the quality of education in Nova Scotia - the Dexter government’s inaction is unacceptable and a Liberal government would step in to protect our children and the quality of their education.”
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