Manitoba Opposition says Hydro ads promote energy gamble

Manitoba Tories say an advertising campaign from the province's hydro utility is an insult.

Manitoba Tories say an advertising campaign from the province's hydro utility is an insult.

Opposition Leader Brian Pallister says Manitoba Hydro should not be spending $750,000 on ads that encourage new energy projects when  questions are being raised about their viability.

The ads promote the company's plans to spend more than $18 billion over the next dozen years to build two generating stations and a transmission line.

Pallister says soft export markets could see the utility selling that electricity at a loss, and he wants the projects delayed while they are reviewed.

Manitoba Hydro has said export markets will rebound and even domestic demand will require new dams within a decade.

It has admitted that consumers will have to pay more for the projects — it predicts 3.9 per cent increases in hydro rates for the foreseeable future.