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New energy plan proposed

Erika Sherk
Northern News Services

Hay River (Dec 04/06) - Only five residents, including the mayor, showed up for a GNWT public meeting on proposed energy plan in Hay River, Nov. 15.

The meeting was held to hear public feedback on plans to create a GNWT Energy Plan.

It will decide how the government will approach energy in the future, said Dave Nightingale, who facilitated the meeting.

It's all geared, according to Hay River mayor John Pollard, "to try and get us to work towards more energy efficiency."

The possibility of a one-rate plan was of concern to Pollard.

That would mean that all communities would pay the same rate for power.

As Hay River and Fort Smith are close to the Talston Dam they pay lower rates than communities that have to truck diesel in."I want community-based rates. My job is to keep everyone in the community from paying more," he said.

The Energy Plan "will not necessarily mean a one-rate plan," said Nightingale."There is no way I'd support a one-rate plan," said Pollard. "I'd fight you tooth and nail."

"We're not interested in subsidizing other people's power rates," he said, "that's the government's job.

Pollard also suggested that the Talston Dam be expanded.

"There may be excess power now," he said, "but we're going to need more at some point."

NWT Power Corp. president and CEO Leon Courneya also urged action, asking for a firm date for the beginning of the plan's implementation.

The plan will be completed in February, said Nightingale.