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November 24, 2016

NDP gov’t asked for emails to be deleted on PPAs, Wildrose calling for investigation

Today, Wildrose is calling for an investigation into the NDP government after documents released under freedom of information show an explicit attempt to delete emails related to ENMAX returning its Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to the Balancing Pool.

The request for an investigation was delivered today in a letter to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. In an email sent on Dec. 9 2015, the Department of Energy’s Assistant Deputy Minister asked the Balancing Pool CEO to “please delete” an email and its attachment regarding PPAs because they were “sensitive and transitory.” On the same day, court records show ENMAX had met with senior government officials and the Deputy Minister of Energy to discuss its plans to terminate its Battle River 5 PPA.

“The NDP government knew it made a mistake after imposing massive tax increases on Alberta-owned power companies and now it appears its officials were trying to cover up the evidence,” Wildrose Shadow Renewables & Electricity Minister Don MacIntyre said. “The NDP is wasting money fighting a legal battle they can’t win and floating the idea of rewriting decades old contracts. It’s shameful and it’s causing investment to flee from our province.”

If the NDP government forces ENMAX to take back its PPAs, the Mayor of Calgary is warning it will wipe out the Calgary-owned company’s ability to pay dividends back to the city, which would force city property taxes to go up by 4 to 4.5 per cent every year.

Wildrose Shadow Democracy & Accountability Minister Jason Nixon said the NDP government has quickly adapted the same culture of secrecy and entitlement that Albertans voted against in the last election. “Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton confirmed this week that information in Alberta is nearing a ‘crisis situation,’ but the NDP has done nothing about it. They have just made things worse,” Nixon said. “This government does not respect transparency and we hope there will continue to be further investigations into its constant delays and growing culture of secrecy.”