Manitoba Hydro boss announces departure; Opposition says utility in ‘state of turmoil’

The president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro has announced he is retiring less than three years after joining the Crown corporation.

Kelvin Shepherd, who joined the utility in December 2015 after a five-year stint at MTS Inc., says in a release that he will be stepping down Nov. 16.

Manitoba Hydro’s board of directors, citing an inability to work with the provincial government, resigned en masse in March.

Premier Brian Pallister said the dispute stemmed from a multimillion-dollar deal, which was quashed by the government, between the utility and the Manitoba Metis Federation.

The deal was designed to forestall opposition to future power-related projects and the agreement’s demise prompted the federation to pursue court action.

Weeks later, the province’s Public Utilities Board rejected Manitoba Hydro’s request to raise electricity rates by almost eight per cent at a time the Crown is building northern power stations and a transmission line to bring electricity south.

In response to the announcement of Shephard’s retirement, Manitoba NDP leader Wab Kinew suggested “mismanagement of Manitoba’s most important Crown corporation” by the Premier played a role.

“Manitoba Hydro has been in a state of turmoil since March,” read Kinew’s statement.

With a file from CTV Winnipeg

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