Manitoba Hydro announces workforce cuts, rate increases as debt rises

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Manitoba Hydro has announced that it will eliminate more than 15% of its workforce while raising rates by at least 10% as the provincial utility’s efforts to cut expenditures continue.

The announcement, made last week, will see Manitoba Hydro shrink its 6,200-person workforce by 900 positions. Company president and CEO Kelvin Shepherd said the cuts equate to a savings up to about US$49.7 million. The company said it will institute a “voluntary departure plan” this spring to assist in the reduction process.

“These changes are a necessary first step towards achieving cost reductions within Manitoba Hydro and positioning us to execute on our strategic priorities that we have identified as cored to Hydro’s success,” Shepherd said.

The company is also making executive-level cuts, with three vice president positions have already been eliminated.

The moves come as Manitoba Hydro’s debt continues to mount. Sources report the company’s debt was about $10 million this past fall, and could increase to more than $19 million within the next three years.

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