The Official Opposition critic for Energy Development, René Legacy, is condemning the Minister’s interference with the work of the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board in regard to Irving Oil’s application for an increase to the wholesale margin for petroleum.
“By sending a letter to the Energy and Utilities Board advocating in favour of Irving Oil’s request and encouraging them to proceed with the review quickly, the Minister is interfering in the work of the Board,” says René Legacy. “What makes this even more disconcerting is that the Premier is a former Executive of Irving Oil. Government should never be interfering with the work of an independent board and someone needs to take responsibility for this.”
The Energy and Utilities Board is an independent entity that is tasked with reviewing any application for a rate increase or a change in service and is also the board that establishes the maximum gas prices in the province. If approved, Irving Oil’s application would increase the price of gas in New Brunswick.
“This decision will have a direct impact on what consumers pay at the pump. Government should have more sense than to meddle in something so significant,” says René Legacy. “I don’t know who advised Minister Holland to do this, if he acted of his own accord, or if this move was supported by the Premier, but it shows a blatant disrespect for the independence of the Energy and Utilities Board. ”