Nova Scotia

Emera criticized for executive party in Halifax

The Liberal Energy Critic says a party hosted by Emera last Wednesday is an insult to Nova Scotians.

Nova Scotia Power's parent company hosts event day after request for rate hike

Liberal Andrew Younger says Emera needs to be cutting back internally. (CBC)

The Liberal Energy Critic says a party hosted by Emera last Wednesday is an insult to Nova Scotians.

Emera, the parent company of Nova Scotia Power, threw a party at Salty's, a restaurant on the Halifax waterfront.

The event was held one day after Nova Scotia Power made the controversial request to raise rates by six per cent over the next two years.

The party had a guest list of about 28 people. It featured Cape Breton comedian Maynard Morrison, the Halifax Titanic Orchestra, and the Mellotones, a popular band in Halifax.

A spokesperson for Emera told CBC the company's board of directors were in town for meetings, and the party was a chance to build stronger relationships with Emera executives.

The company would not reveal the price tag for the event, but said it was paid for by Emera shareholders and not Nova Scotia Power customers.

Politicians speak out

The event is drawing criticism from all three of the province's political parties.

"It's insensitive, it's insulting to Nova Scotians, and it just shows exactly what's wrong at Nova Scotia Power," said Andrew Younger, the Liberal energy critic. "They're asking people to sacrifice, yet they're out there partying at a level that most rate payers in Nova Scotia could never possibly afford."

Younger said although this incident involved the parent company, it feeds into the Liberal's belief that Nova Scotia Power needs to be audited on a regular basis.

He said if they're asking customers to make sacrifices, the company should be sacrificing internally as well.

Nova Scotia's Energy Minister Charlie Parker isn't impressed.

"I don't know the details," he said. "That seems unacceptable to me, and certainly not setting a good example so I don't think it's the right way to go."

Conservative leader Jamie Baillie also weighed in on Emera's party, saying the event shows Nova Scotia Power executives are out of touch.