A sustainable outlook in an era of uncertainty: A case study of Manitoba Hydro

Thumbnail Image
Werbicki, Ryan
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The historical record of Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba’s largest crown corporation, is a rich case study that contextualizes and affirms the numerous public policy challenges confronting Manitoba’s polity in the twenty-first century. Manitoba Hydro’s contemporary history is mired-in ongoing political interference, severe financial mismanagement, poor indigenous relations and technical failures. Examining the historical record offers an opportunity to probe Manitoba Hydro’s history which is inextricably linked to Manitoba’s social, economic and environmental landscape. This thesis provides a historic overview of hydroelectric production in the province of Manitoba, highlighting specific themes that are essential to understanding Manitoba Hydro’s modern incarnation. This includes insights into the utility’s electrical advantage, environmental record, and its relationship with indigenous Manitobans. Contemporary fiscal decisions such as the expansion of productive and transmission capacity, irrespective of demand and market fluctuations, have undoubtedly placed the crown corporation in a precarious position. As a result, Manitoba Hydro and the province of Manitoba need develop effective public policy for the future sustainability of the crown corporation. This thesis recommends various actions that will ensure the utility remains strong, stable and secure now, and in the future. This includes increasing domestic demand and efficiencies, acquiring monetary advances from the province of Manitoba to temporarily balance fiscal challenges, reform the social license model with amendments for indigenous Manitobans and commission an inquiry as a result of recent mismanagement.
Manitoba Hydro, Bipole III