mi-ns-nsp-bill

N.S. Power President Rob Bennett said Wednesday that the closure of the Bowater and Newpage paper mills amount to a $53 million hit to the power company's bottom line. (CBC)

 

A last minute hearing about whether to increase power rates by three per cent in each of the next two years in Nova Scotia has been delayed for 24 hours.

The chair of the Utility and Review Board agreed to adjourn the meeting until 9 a.m. Friday to allow discussions between Nova Scotia Power, the province's consumer advocates and several big customers

The province's consumer advocate says progress is being made towards a deal.

Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie said power rates are being set behind closed doors.

But board chair Peter Gurnham said nothing "nefarious" is underway since all the evidence has been made public.

The Utility and Review Board has already received hundreds of questions from lawyers critical of whether the company has done all it can to reduce head office costs before raising rates.

Nova Scotia Power President Rob Bennett said Wednesday that the closure of the Bowater and NewPage paper mills amount to a $53-million hit to the power company's bottom line.

Long-term N.S. Power employees can retire at age 52 with half pension or at age 58 with a full pension. The consumer advocate will argue that's too rich and should be changed.

The company said it's done what it can to cut costs by eliminating 100 managers and reducing overtime.