BILL NO. 92

(as introduced)

3rd Session, 61st General Assembly
Nova Scotia
60 Elizabeth II, 2011



Private Member's Bill



Power Rate Reduction Review Act



The Honourable Jamie Baillie
Cumberland South



First Reading: November 14, 2011

Second Reading:

Third Reading:

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An Act Respecting
the Review and Reduction of Power Rates

Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

1 This Act may be cited as the Power Rate Reduction Review Act.

2 In this Act,

(a) "inventory" means an inventory prepared by the 3Rs Committee;

(b) "pension" does not include retirement benefits received under the Canada Pension Plan;

(c) "recognized party" means a recognized party within the meaning of the House of Assembly Act;

(d) "3Rs Committee" means the Rate Reduction Review Committee established by this Act.

3 (1) Subject to subsection (2), within thirty days of the coming into force of this Section, the Governor in Council shall establish a Rate Reduction Review Committee composed of

(a) two members appointed by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Nova Scotia chapter, one of whom represents small businesses and one of whom represents medium-sized businesses;

(b) two members appointed by the Group of IX Seniors' Advisory Council of Nova Scotia, one of whom receives a pension and one of whom does not receive a pension;

(c) one member appointed by the Nova Scotia Chambers of Commerce to represent businesses that rely heavily on power for manufacturing;

(d) one member appointed by the Community Coalition to End Poverty in Nova Scotia;

(e) one member appointed by the Ecology Action Centre as a person with an interest in reducing energy consumption; and

(f) one member appointed jointly by the Cape Breton Island Building and Construction Trades Council and the Mainland Nova Scotia Building and Construction Trades Council.

(2) Where an organization is unable to appoint a member as required by subsection (1),

(a) the Governor in Council shall establish the members that are appointed as the 3Rs Committee; and

(b) the 3Rs Committee may appoint such other person as the Committee considers appropriate to take the place of the member who was not appointed pursuant to subsection (1).

4 The 3Rs Committee shall

(a) be apolitical and independent of the Government of the Province;

(b) select its Chair; and

(c) determine its rules of procedure.

5 Subject to Section 10, the members of the 3Rs Committee shall be paid such remuneration as is determined by the Governor in Council and actual and reasonable expenses incurred by them in the discharge of their duties.

6 (1) The 3Rs Committee shall prepare an inventory of Provincial statutes, regulations and orders and decisions of the Government of the Province, each of which, in whole or in part, in the opinion of the Committee, is an item that likely increases the cost of electricity in the Province by more than fifty thousand dollars per annum.

(2) The 3Rs Committee shall consult broadly, including by

(a) holding meetings in various parts of the Province, which meetings must be open to the public;

(b) soliciting and accepting submissions from the public; and

(c) allowing for electronic consultation and submissions.

(3) In preparing an inventory, the 3Rs Committee

(a) shall identify whether all or part of the statute, regulation, order or decision is, in the opinion of the Committee, likely responsible for increasing the cost of electricity; and

(b) shall not otherwise consider the merits of the statute, regulation, order or decision.

7 (1) The 3Rs Committee shall file with the Clerk of the House of Assembly

(a) a preliminary inventory on or before February 1, 2012; and

(b) a supplementary inventory on or before October 1, 2012.

(2) The inventory of the 3Rs Committee shall be laid before the House, if the House is then sitting, and the Premier, or the Premier's designate, shall table the inventory in the House on the next sitting day.

(3) If the House is not sitting when the inventory is filed with the Clerk, the Premier, or the Premier's designate shall table the inventory in the House within ten days after the House next sits.

(4) The leaders of each of the recognized parties may agree to group items listed in an inventory for the purpose of this Section.

(5) Within twenty sitting days after the inventory is tabled in the House pursuant to subsection (2) or (3), the Government shall introduce legislation to repeal the statutes, regulations and orders and reverse the decisions, individually or grouped as approved pursuant to subsection (4), in whole or in part, as set out in the inventory.

8 (1) Within ten days of filing a supplementary inventory with the Clerk of the House of Assembly, the 3Rs Committee shall decide whether it is reasonably possible for the Committee to identify more statutes, regulations, orders or decisions that likely increase the cost of electricity in the Province by more than fifty thousand dollars per annum, and

(a) where the decision is that it is reasonably possible to do so, the 3Rs Committee is continued and may file further supplementary inventories with the Clerk; or

(b) where the decision is that it is not reasonably possible to do so, the 3Rs Committee shall file a notice to that effect with the Clerk.

(2) Where the Committee files a notice pursuant to clause (1)(b), the Committee is, upon filing of the notice, dissolved.

9 Within ninety days of the date a statute, regulation or order is repealed or a decision is reversed by reason of legislation enacted pursuant to Section 7, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board shall

(a) consider the impact of the repeal or reversal on the cost of producing and delivering electricity in the Province; and

(b) reduce the cost of electricity accordingly.

10 The moneys for the purpose of this Act must be paid out of moneys appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature.

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