Wilson: Liberals need to hold public consultations on Efficiency Nova Scotia changes

December 27, 2013

(Lower Sackville, NS) Sackville-Cobequid NDP MLA Dave Wilson says the public has a right to have its say if the Liberals are changing the mandate of Efficiency Nova Scotia.

On Boxing Day, the Liberals disclosed their intentions to restructure Efficiency Nova Scotia by the Spring of 2014 to allnovascotia.com. In the story Energy Minister Andrew Younger was quoted as saying the Liberals are looking at making changes to “their whole mandate.”

The current structure and mandate of Efficiency Nova Scotia was established following a consultation process led by Dr. David Wheeler in 2009. Wilson says it’s reasonable to expect the Liberals to conduct a similar consultation if they are committed to changing the not-for-profit corporation’s mandate.

“Part of the success of Efficiency Nova Scotia at saving Nova Scotians money comes from the fact that it is independent from government and Nova Scotia Power,” said Wilson. “If the Liberals want to change the mandate of an independent organization, any changes should be made with input from many voices – not only the Minister of Energy.”

Wilson says the Liberals didn’t properly think through their commitment to remove the efficiency rate from power bills. He noted earlier this month even the Minister of Energy conceded there would be “unintended consequences” if the Liberals followed through on their plan to make Nova Scotia Power pay for the program.

“My biggest concern is the Liberals are considering cutting energy efficiency programs because Nova Scotia Power can’t afford them,” said Wilson. “Nova Scotians who benefit from these programs deserve to have a voice in any changes the Liberals are planning for Efficiency Nova Scotia.”