What Nova Scotia Power Wants to Keep Silent as It Seeks a Price Increase - CBC.ca

What Nova Scotia Power Wants to Keep Silent as It Seeks a Price Increase – CBC.ca

The county regulator is urged to deny Nova Scotia Power’s request to conceal reports on executive compensation, bonuses, government lobbying activities, and even some public court records, It seeks to raise electricity prices by 10 percent.

The interveners submitted objections to the confidentiality claims asserted by the tool in its response to written questions posed by various parties to the price request, which will be heard by regulators in September.

Daniel Boyle, who represents the Department of Natural and Renewable Resources, said the company has historically not attempted to withhold information about executive compensation, and warned the regulator not to “create any precedent in that action.”

“While [the department] He appreciates NS Power’s desire to protect this information, and there is no reasonable justification for executives in a company operating in an organized monopoly to receive recharges to unspecified secret ceilings,” Boyle wrote in a five-page objection letter.

Consumer advocate Bill Mahudi, who represents resident clients, and the industry group representing NSP’s large clients also filed objections last week. The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board ordered Nova Scotia Power to respond by Wednesday.

Reports will be withheld from the public and interfering

Nova Scotia Power wants executive compensation reports prepared by Mercer Consulting considered to be “confidential to the board of directors,” that would keep documents hidden not only from the public, but also from interlopers who sign a pledge to keep the information confidential.

The reports are described as an assessment of the payments competitiveness of utility executives. Only a portion of the executives’ compensation – up to the level of a regional deputy minister – is recovered in rates; The rest comes from parent company Emera.

“What we’re looking for is disclosure of those reports so we can come to an understanding about whether or not they justify executive compensation,” Mahoudi told CBC News.

County and Mahody’s “only on board” or “ultra-secret” objections are supported by the industry group and Dalhousie University, which has contested 14 other classified claims confirmed by Nova Scotia Power, including:

  • General approaches to cybersecurity.

  • The number and percentage of employees who receive a bonus by year.

  • The projected average annual cost of legal and labor expenses is in an ongoing dispute with the Canada Revenue Agency.

  • Studies of decommissioning water dams.

In most cases, Nova Scotia Power says the disclosure includes commercially sensitive or third-party information.

Unjustified, says the lawyer

But the industry group’s lawyer, Nancy Rubin, says that is unjustified. It says Nova Scotia Power revised the supplier’s name to a long-term natural gas contract that expired in October 2010 based on “commercial information.”

“It is not clear what ‘commercial value’ may be associated with this long-standing contract. In any event, the identity of Shell, as the counterparty, has been in the public domain for decades,” she said, noting that it was well known. It was discussed by the board of directors in 2012.

Rubin also says Nova Scotia Power wants to keep the various court notices filed in an ongoing dispute with the Canada Revenue Agency confidential even though “these documents are already in the public domain and anyone can obtain a copy on request.”

In a statement to CBC News, Nova Scotia Power said it supports transparency and always tries to reduce information that requires confidential processing.

“We are currently reviewing this request and will respond through the regulatory process,” spokeswoman Mina Attia said.

The county says compensation information is relevant

The Department of Natural and Renewable Resources refused to make its minister available for an interview.

“We believe that executive compensation is important in these actions and this information must be made available so that effective filings can be made on behalf of taxpayers,” Adele Pourier, who was speaking on behalf of the administration, said in a statement.

“We have confidence in [Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board] You will listen to all the information and make a fair decision for the taxpayer.”

Intervenors will have until Thursday to respond to Nova Scotia Power’s response to the regulator.

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