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The power of suggestion

To the editor,

Nova Scotia Power Inc. has partially gotten their way, by achieving a rate increase of 8.9 percent. On the other hand, our elected officials proudly announce that their efforts have "saved" the downtrodden 4.1 percent on their power bills. Another $25 every two months merely adds to the pressure of a "budget" that, before this latest rise, did not allow for the purchase of enough quality food to sustain a proper lifestyle. I am relatively fortunate. I do have a job and there is a possibility of a raise, but my heart goes out to those on fixed budgets. The poor unfortunates on Social Assistance are already squeezed to the point of starvation with the cost of rent, heat and of course, power.

I think an essential service like electricity should not be governed by the corporate sector. The very idea of someone getting a six- or seven figure salary off the backs of the people least able to afford it irritates me. In addition to public ownership of NSPI, there should be an immediate increase of the minimum wage to at least nine dollars an hour, coupled with rent control, more and better subsidized housing and more encouragement to help the willing towards self- improvement. This modest start, although initially expensive, will pay off in spades---instead of continuing to be a burden on the taxpayer, we will gradually become fully participating members of society.

By Thomas Hirst

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