Consumer advocate defends power rate process
Baillie says rates were set behind "closed doors"
The province's consumer advocate says the Nova Scotia's Progressive Conservative Party is wrong to see the recent deal on power rates as one that was reached "behind closed doors."
Leader Jamie Ballie sparred with the chair of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board in a dispute over negotiations to reach new power rates in the province.
The issue was whether deal making behind closed doors is a reasonable way to shorten the regulatory process or an instance of unacceptable secrecy.
John Merrick said the process used to reach the new power rate proposal was open to anyone who wanted to register as an intervener.
"You would have access to all the materials that were filed in the database. And remember, these rate applications are preceded by approximately three months of examining books, questioning people, getting answers to all sorts of questions, I forgot how many were asked of Nov Scotia Power, and it's all there available for anyone who wants to look at it. Except for the confidential information," Merrick told CBC News.
Nova Scotia Power, consumer advocates and industry stakeholders reached a deal regarding a power rate increase of three per cent over each of the next two years on Friday.
Merrick said the proposal will save rate payers at least $30 million after 2014.