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1st Session, 40th Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.   It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications or view the online bilingual version (PDF).

Bill 18

THE AFFORDABLE UTILITY RATE ACCOUNTABILITY ACT


Explanatory Note Bilingual version (PDF) Table of Contents

(Assented to                                         )

WHEREAS, by reason of Manitoba's ownership of Manitoba Hydro and the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation, Manitobans should benefit from low rates for electricity, natural gas for home heating, and auto insurance;

AND WHEREAS maintaining low rates for these products will help ensure Manitoba remains an affordable place to live, work and raise a family;

AND WHEREAS maintaining an affordable high quality of life benefits not only Manitoba families but also Manitoba's economy by attracting and retaining people;

THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

Report on comparison of utility costs

1           For each fiscal year ending after 2012, the Minister of Finance must engage an independent accounting firm to prepare a report that, for each province of Canada, lists a comparable cost, determined in accordance with the regulations, of a utility bundle consisting of

(a) electricity for home use;

(b) natural gas for home heating; and

(c) automobile insurance.

Plan for lowering cost of utility bundle

2           If the report under section 1 for a fiscal year shows the cost of the utility bundle for any province to be lower than the cost for Manitoba, the Minister of Finance must prepare a plan to return Manitoba to the lowest cost position.

Report to be tabled

3           The Minister of Finance must table the report prepared under section 1 for a fiscal year, together with the plan prepared under section 2 if one is required, in the Assembly at the time of tabling the public accounts for that year under subsection 65(2) of The Financial Administration Act.

Regulations

4           The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing the methods to be used in determining comparable costs for the report to be prepared under section 1.

C.C.S.M. reference

5            This Act may be referred to as chapter A6.8 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

6           This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Explanatory Note

This Bill requires the Minister of Finance to table a report each year that lists the comparable combined cost of electricity for home use, natural gas for home heating and automobile insurance in each province. If, in any year, Manitoba's combined cost is not the lowest in Canada, the Minister must table a plan to return Manitoba to the lowest cost position.