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Ccc To Hold Virtual Meeting Over Grand Bahama Electricity Rate Rise

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Pastor Eddie Victor, president of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens.

By DENISE MAYCOCK

Tribune Freeport Reporter

dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

THE Coalition of Concerned Citizens is opposed to the Grand Bahama Power Company’s proposal for an increase in the electricity rate in Grand Bahama, and plans to hold a virtual town meeting on the issue next month.

Pastor Eddie Victor, the convener of CCC, is threatening to organise major opposition to the latest rate application submitted by EMERA/GBPC to the regulator in September.

He stressed that Grand Bahama’s economy is in decline, unemployment is high, and residents are still recovering from the two major crises that have occurred within the past two years.

The Grand Bahama Port Authority, announced that GBPC submitted an application for a proposed rate increase on September 23. As the regulator, the GBPA said it is required to conduct a public consultation before any decision is made concerning the GBPC’s application.

On Thursday, Pastor Victor and his wife, Margo Victor, along with Rudy Stubbs, of CCC, held a press conference concerning GBPC’s proposal.

Mr Victor said: “Surveying the landscape of Grand Bahama and in particular the City of Freeport, one will see the evidence of an economic decline in Grand Bahama. To the north, south, east, and west, there are closed and abandoned buildings in every direction. Closed businesses, closed shopping centres, closed hotels, abandoned apartments, and houses.”

He stressed that the island was dealt a major blow when Hurricane Dorian, the most destructive storm in the history of the Bahamas, hit both Abaco and Grand Bahama.

“Today most people in Grand Bahama are still recovering from Dorian. Just six months after the passing of Hurricane Dorian, the Bahamas was impacted by the global corona-virus pandemic which we are still in today,” he said.

“The economic and social conditions on Grand Bahama (are) the worst it has ever been. The people are currently burdened with an increase in prices at the stores, for services and taxes.”

Mr Victor also noted that unemployment in Grand Bahama is high.

“We believe it is just under 50 percent. It is in the backdrop of these facts, that any proposal for an increase in the electricity rate is unacceptable and should be rejected by the people of Grand Bahama,” he stressed.

The Coalition of Concerned Citizens has been advocating for years for electricity costs to be lowered on the island.

This is not the first time that CCC is opposing the rate increase by GBPC. Mr Victor indicated that in 2015, the organisation vigorously opposed the rate application of Emera/GBPC.

“Despite the overwhelming opposition from residents, the business sector, and the hotels, the rate application to increase the electricity rate was approved,” he said.

He also added that Emera had also forced minor Bahamian shareholders to sell their shares to the company. He said GBPC has become a 100 percent foreign-owned company.

“As we did in 2015, the CCC will mount an intense opposition to EmeraGrand Bahama Power Company’s present rate application. For too long our people have had to suffer due to the predatory profit-driven operation of this Power company,” he said.

“What Grand Bahama needs is an economic revival, not further economic oppression.

“The CCC commends Prime Minister Philip E Davis, Minister Ginger Moxey along with the government of the Bahamas for declaring that the government will not support any increase of electricity rates anywhere on Grand Bahama Island.”

The CCC plans to host a virtual town meeting on Thursday, November 11, at 7 pm via Zoom and Facebook live.

The public can join by Zoom ID 878 0234 2869 and Facebook live at the Facebook pages for the Coalition of Concerned Citizens and Lower the Cost of Power, Grand Bahama. For more information contact 646-9494.

Comments

hrysippus 3 months ago

This meeting will have no effect at all on the cost of electrity in GB. The cost increase is directly related to the increasing cost of the fossil fuels burnt to power the generators. Only people wishing to fool the public to gain community recognition for future political advantage will say otherwise.

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realfreethinker 3 months ago

I see our new day government already saying no to the increase knowing quite well ain't shit they can do to stop it. More pandering to their D average base

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moncurcool 3 months ago

The increases has nothing to do with fossil fuel price increases. GB Power has a hedge agreement for their fuel prices, so their fuel cost is not impacted by the changing dynamics of fuel like BPL.

The increases are simply the greed of GB Power, especially when they charge power users now a fee to recoup what they spent fixing their system after Hurricane Dorian.

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Maximilianotto 3 months ago

Really unbelievable which nonsense by unimportant busybodies. Barking to the Moon.

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JokeyJack 3 months ago

On Sept 16th we voted to give away our natural resources for free and remain poor groveling dogs. We won that vote. Now we can celebrate our sucking lives for another 5 years. The time for talk is over. Election is over. We told Lincoln we dont want our Crown land, the Queen can keep it. We dont want a $2000 VAT refund. We dont want $100,000 over 5 years from our natural resources. We said everything irie. Tax us some more and use us for suckers. We love it that way. We just want a new day. The sun rose, now be quiet.

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Socrates 3 months ago

If costs go up, business has to pass it on. They are not a charity so why should they absorb it? We are such a society of socialists and always want something for nothing as long as someone else picks up the tab. Why not nationalize Freeport power and let BPL run it and give everyone free power if you really want to make an impact?

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JokeyJack 3 months ago

Yes, if only we had the low rates and high service that people get in Nassau, LOL.

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