Manitoba election: NDP promises green jobs, lower utility bills

The New Democrats pledge to create more green jobs and lower Manitoba utility bills if elected this spring.

Leader Greg Selinger calls Tory plans for Crown corporation 'classic first steps towards privatization'

The New Democrats pledge to create more green jobs and lower Manitoba utility bills if elected this spring. 2:04

The New Democrats pledge to create more green jobs and lower Manitoba utility bills if elected this spring.

"The NDP is the only party that can be trusted to keep Manitoba Hydro public to benefit everyone, not just the wealthy few," leader Greg Selinger said in a statement Wednesday.

Selinger said under his watch, the NDP would boost Manitoba Hydro's energy-saving PowerSmart program and keep the Crown company from being sold off to the private sector.

"The Conservatives privatized MTS. Now they plan on cancelling hydro projects and cutting Manitoba Hydro into pieces — the classic first steps towards privatization," Selinger said in a statement.

The Progressive Conservatives have said they won't privatize Manitoba Hydro.

The NDP would expand water and energy efficiency subsidy programs and work with local businesses to retrofit Manitoba Housing properties and homes owned by low-income Manitobans to save energy and money on utility bills, he said.

PowerSmart loan interest rates would be decreased from 3.9 per cent to 2.9 per cent, Selinger said, and the NDP would lower those rates even more for small and commercial businesses, from 5.6 per cent to 2.9 per cent. They would also boost geothermal and solar subsidies.

Manitobans head to the polls April 19.
Manitoba NDP Leader Greg Selinger says if elected this spring, his party will reduce utility bill fees and create more green jobs. (Brett Purdy/CBC)