Manitoba Hydro asks court to overturn order to create special First Nation rate

WINNIPEG — Manitoba Hydro has asked the courts to overturn an order directing the Crown to create a special rate class for Indigenous customers who live on reserves.

In May, the Public Utilities Board ordered Hydro to freeze rates on reserves while implementing a general rate increase of 3.6 per cent elsewhere.

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The board said the "On Reserve First Nations'' customer class was needed to deal with what it calls energy poverty.

Manitoba Hydro President Kelvin Shepherd says the board exceeded its authority and the Manitoba Court of Appeal should overturn the order.

He says Hydro is required to maintain uniform rates for all residential customers, regardless of where they live.

Earlier this year the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs called the board's decision to create the separate rate class a victory that recognizes the hardship faced by people who live on reserves.

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