Cooperative Coalition Shocked at FTC Ruling

The following is a Press Release from the Coalition of Co-operatives Coalition of Co-operatives and Concerned Citizens in relation to the recent FTC ruling – Blogmaster

Coalition of Concerned Co-operatives and Citizens
PRESS RELEASE

17 September 2022

The Coalition of Concerned Cooperatives is shocked at the decision by the Fair Trading Commission to grant an interim rate increase to the Barbados Light & Power Company three days before the substantive two-week Rate Hearing is due to commence.

In addition to the unfortunate message that this decision sends to the general public, and to intervenors in the substantive Hearings, about the Commission’s seeming predisposition towards the Company’s application, we are also particularly displeased that the Commission has dismissed, without comment, the position raised by the Coalition in writing to the Fair Trading Commission, that the Laws of Barbados – via the Utilities Regulations Act Chapter 282, in Section 15 (3) specifically directs that:

(3) The Commission shall not grant a request for a review by the same service provider
more than once in any year.

In our opinion, this clear stipulation in the Law restricts the BLPC from submitting an additional Interim rate application within the same year, after having submitted their substantive application. Surely, the acceptance of the BLPC ‘interim rate review’ therefore breaches the Act.

We continue to await a suitable explanation from the Commission as to how they could have ignored this clear stipulation in our Law.

We are furthermore concerned that, whereas the Act makes no provision for any special category of Rate Hearing such as an ‘Interim Rate Increase’, the Commission in its ruling, went to long, rambling, lengths, to accommodate this request from the Company, citing overseas precedents that would have been based on completely different laws.

At the same time, the Commission has completely ignored and dismissed our position which is a direct and unambiguous extract from the Laws of Barbados that apply directly to these Rate Hearings.

Additionally, the decision to arbitrarily award 50% of BLPC’s request, appears to be based solely on subjective information provided by the Company. It clearly lacks the kind of scrutiny that is mandated by the Act, and which will apply in the substantive Rate Hearing scheduled to commence on Wednesday.

The records show that whereas BLPC paid less than $10 million per year in dividends to shareholders before the last rate increase, this increased to nearly $50 Million annually since Emera took control of the company. As a result, some $538 Million have been extracted from BLPC since the last rate hearing.

How this company can now claim ‘cash flow difficulties’ and be accommodated with an ‘interim rate increase’ on consumers, is difficult to assimilate from the decision given by the FTC. We fully expect that Emera will simply increase their annual dividends extractions accordingly, since this matter has not been addressed in the ruling.

Also, to the extent that this so-called ‘Interim Rate’ has not been back dated, we are concerned that its only impact will be to prejudice the substantive Hearing with the preconception that the Company’s case is already being supported by the FTC.

The wisdom of the stipulation in our Law that only one rate application be entertained in any single year becomes quite apparent.

The Coalition calls on the FTC to urgently reconsider this flawed decision, and we reserve our rights in the matter.

Trevor Browne
Chairman
Coalition of Concerned Cooperatives


107 comments

  • This is an interesting comment from the Coalition although the blogmaster is resigned to the fact the FTC as regulator decided to wave the big stick and that will be that.

    Like

  • No sir Mr Blogmaster, that will not be that! Should it become necessary for the Coalition to organize a march on and cause an incident at the FTC headquarters in order to remind it that the ‘F’ stands for “Fair”, then so be it. For too long this FTC was performed like a wing of the oppressor and not the oppressed. This temporary increase is a slap in the face of the Coalition and the public interest it represents. If an invitation to a cocktail party or a Christmas gift ham and bottle of whiskey can influence a decision of this magnitude, well it’s time to throw out the baby and change the wash water.

    The President of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons made a call, only two days ago, for an extension to be made to the start of the hearing as a new legal council would only be in the job for a mere seven days. What does this band of incompetents do? Make a preemptive prejudiced decision days before the new council assumes office. If ever there was a justifiable reason for the dismissal of an entire board because of their suitability for the job, this would be it.

    Like

  • Unsuitability

    Like

  • David
    David
    David

    This is your fault. You are the one who’s always blaming average citizens for the ills of this country because of our failure to promote democracy.

    You are the one who supports Western styled capitalism as if that system has an ability to respond to the materials needs of citizens.
    What internal contradictions.

    We trust that this lesson would finally show you that rent seeking global corporations only interest is their share holders, maximizing returns, maximum extraction from the poor.

    There can be no better example of people seeking social and economic justice and it being denied than in this case.

    We cannot conceive of circumstances where this commission would have so ruled unless Mia Mottley had hid in the background and so directed. Her modus is all over this.

    She is your champion. And after all her useless pretty talk all we can expect from this dictatorial regime is more actions by stealth.

    Like

  • The FTC board should now do two things – issue an unconditional apology to all Barbadians and then tender their resignations with immediate effect.

    Like

  • In its decision the FTC acknowledged submissions from two interveners, Tricia Watson and Ricky Went.

    Click to access 2022-09-17_interim_rate_request_Decision.pdf

    Like

  • @Pacha

    Good you have been able to secure evidence to support your conclusion.

    Respect.

    Like

  • David

    No sir, Columbus

    The history of Barbados is replete with evidence, proof, just that you consistently fail to acknowledge it.

    After a few hours, again you will return to the make believe world so well imagined.

    Like

  • David

    After thinking about this some more and given the quarterly reports for public companies at end of this month we would hate to think that this high handed decision was calibrated to make Emera’s performance such that a reduction in market valuation is avoided.

    This Is the only rationale to explain the FTC’s hasty actions. We hope we are wrong. If we’re right, then only the maximum leader could have been the rain-maker for Emera.

    Like

  • Or indeed enhanced! Given that power companies everywhere are making a killing.

    Like

  • @ Pacha
    Power companies always do well. As an essential service it makes sense that they do.

    But shiite man!! if Emera has indeed been able to get themselves over half Billion in dividends since taking over the Brassbados company, when everyone else has been catching their donkeys to get 2% returns,
    Then …this would be more like a massacre than a simple killing…

    Like

  • ALL IS WELL AND THE USUAL BACK HANDNESS IN CORRUPT PARADISE WHERE THE MAJORITY BLACKS CONTINUE TO BE SUPPRESSED BY THEIR OWN BLACK SELL OUT PATRIOTS IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS.

    THE 2 X 3 ISLAND CONTINUES TO PUNCH ABOVE ITS WEIGHT.

    NTSH

    Like

  • @Pacha

    Given the personal and vicious nature the minister responsible attacked two intervenors under the protection of parliament, one can only wonder.

    Like

  • Why do we bajans keep blaming others for the way we made up our own bed.

    Emera is a running a business, not a charity. Once they are providing returns for their shareholders and a robust service to their customers, they are holding up their end of the deal with us.

    Emera did not start the power company, it was a successfully government owned and run company and they choose to sold their ownership. No one held a gun to the PM’s head when he sold it. The only one we can blame for our current rate hike concerns is government because they should never have sold majority share ownership it in the first place.

    We can’t sell the prized family silver dinnerware then complain about the price we have to pay to rent it back whenever we want to use it for a fancy dinner party.

    BL&P should have been kept government owned and run as a non-profit with a hurricane disaster reserve fund to keep electricity costs to a minimum for everyone i.e. manufacturing,, business and consumers.

    Does anyone know how much overall taxes government collects vs Emera’s annual profits?

    Like

  • David

    If the above is not merely a good-sounding meme, well-worn, we also have a bridge to sell you.

    The requirements of the financialized capital markets are not given to these misguided notions pretending equity or fairness.

    Indeed, the opposite is true. Companies outperforming their benchmarks are more highly rewarded than those, as a practical matter, which try to be anathema by balancing needs.

    Whoever is saying this cannot possibly understand the forces at work. In other words is an idiot.

    Now you David, are looking for evidence to prop up an eniquitous, ultra vires, Mia Mottley corporate corruption at the centre of government.

    Like

  • @CA

    Your comment requires you to answer a question- what is the purpose of a fair trading commission? What is the purpose of a vibrant consumer advocacy body? What is the purpose of the office of public counsel?

    Like

  • @Pacha

    You do your thing and the blogmaster will do same.

    Some years ago the then minister Darcy Boyce cautioned Barbadians we should be careful how we go about setting a new dispensation for fuel generation and distribution in Barbados. His reason was that BL&P had served us well.

    What the blogmaster gleaned from his utterance is that there is active offline communications between government, BL&P and possibly FTC.

    Like

  • What a farce! What more can be said?

    Like

  • David
    How well could it have served us if the last regime found it so necessary to sell it off to corporate gangsters.

    And is the man thusly quoted not a central character in that discredited gang?

    Our main point is that this dictatorial or even fascist regime is clearly lettings us know that the elements of fascism, the conjoining of political and economic elites, must be met.

    Like

  • Bushie 11 04
    You obviously have a heart, a conscience, but unfortunately capital markets don’t.

    These people and systems are brutal. They will take your eyeballs to increase share price, dividends, top and bottom lines.

    Seems that Barbados is still playing checkers while the corps play chess.

    Like

  • @David September 19, 2022 6:51 AM

    The FTC is a sham organization masquerading as a regulatory agency. Its government’s way of appeasing the public by pretending they have the power to control the actions of monopolies. If government were serious about the FTC, any business exceeding a certain percentage in market share would automatically fall under the FTC, have a cap placed on their maximum allowed annual profit and be subjected to annual external audits as long as their market share percentage remains in excess.

    A vibrant consumer advocacy body purpose is to lobby government for laws to benefit consumers and inform consumers of their rights under existing laws and how best to exercise those rights. e.g. this body should be advocating for a small claims court as practiced in TV shows ala Jude Judy, etc.

    Office of public counsel is another purposely understaffed and underfunded government agency. They should be providing a free call-in legal question answering service ala the former Lawyer on Call call-in program and handling small to medium sized legal matters of those proven to be too financially poor to afford the services of a regular lawyer.

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    “After a few hours, again you will return to the make believe world so well imagined.”

    not that easy this time, their fantasy world BLEW UP IN THEIR FACES..,,,magnificiently…

    ….just a matter of time before we witness the DEGREE of fallout…

    TICKTOCK says the clock..

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    electric rates SKYROCKED just recently, some by as much as 3.-.6 hundred dollars,….THIS IS CORRUPTION….as is the norm.

    Like

  • The gov’t of Barbados was never a majority shareholder in BL&P. That is why the company was so easy to take over. BL&P held the upper hand. When the shares were sold at $30 something, I sold most of mine as it made no sense to keep them. Plus Emera owns several companies. Google it. I will never apologize for the few I keep and the returns I receive per quarter. Beats the banks and Credit Unions hands down.

    Like

  • @ CA
    “The FTC is a sham organization masquerading as a regulatory agency. Its government’s way of appeasing the public by pretending they have the power to control the actions of monopolies. If government were serious about the FTC, any business exceeding a certain percentage in market share would automatically fall under the FTC, have a cap placed on their maximum allowed annual profit and be subjected to annual external audits as long as their market share percentage remains in excess.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Amen!
    You just said it all.

    The whole system is designed to convey the IMPRESSION that public interest is paramount, while the brass bowls are being taken to the slaughterhouse and market.
    It is the BIG MONEY gangsters who run things, They just do it from the background while sending forward their minions to BS the brass.

    @ David
    Your 5:35 a.m. video from the FTC is a classic example of the BS.

    @ Pacha
    It is NOT about Bushie’s conscience.
    It is the bushman’s INABILITY to understand how supposedly intelligent people can be so open to being misused and abused…
    shiite….!!
    Even Bushie is still trying to come to grips with the EXTENT of brassbowlery bout here…

    Liked by 1 person

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    Is it Jeff that was once at FTC.

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    They managed to repel the crookery and scam back then to tief the oil terminal and sell it for a billion dollars to benefit said crooks..

    but no Jeff to repel this…if i got the entity where he was prior to his new post right..

    Like

  • @Pacha

    BL&P was dumped for 30 pieces of foreign exchange silver. You forgot how desperate were those times?

    Like

  • @CA

    To be clear you have no problem with what the three agencies should represent, it is how they are setup locally?

    Like

  • Waru

    Are there not similarities between this thief, corruption, of public wealth by the FTC and the regime for the benefit of Emera

    And the open thief of nine billion dollars of Afghanistan’s sovereign wealth by America. Afghanistan a country illegally invaded 20 years ago.

    A poor country like Barbados but the international kleptocracy of which Barbados is a player in the same game.

    Indeed, war reparations are owed to Afghanistan. Robin Hood in reverse!

    We hope when the game changes and the Chinese or the Russians consign Western odious claims as worthless nobody complains.

    Like

  • David

    Please, refuse the disingenuous!
    It was Pacha who raise the sale.
    It’s you who want to pretend that we’re not similarly desperate and not still on the same general trajectories.

    Like

  • No Pacha, all the stealing and scams occur in Barbados only.

    Like

  • Pick a fight noise with yourself Pacha. It is a beautiful day in BIM.

    Like

  • @David September 19, 2022 9:28 AM

    Correct,
    Barbados has always had wonderful visionary polices, structures and regulatory frameworks and agencies. Just having an agency named Fair Trading Commission does not mean we now have fair trading unless it functions effectively and efficiently.

    Our problem has always been one of implementation and management our brilliant ideas. We have some of the best technocrats in the world in both public and private sectors but we constantly seek to hold them and their ideas back fr one reason or another.

    How many times have you heard retired civil servants laugh at some new brilliant policy idea as something they wrote a paper on decades ago that went nowhere or something they already tried because of our unique environment and someone else now trying the same failed idea again?

    Liked by 1 person

  • If members of the BU have questions for the Cooperative Coalition please post to BU or submit privately if it is your preference -the blogmaster will forward to that body for a response.

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    “A poor country like Barbados but the international kleptocracy of which Barbados is a player in the same game.”

    punching above their usual idiocy disguised as smarts……and the TRUE tale has FINALLY unfolded..

    FRAUDS as established for decades…..

    Like

  • David 09 47
    Let the record reflect that that is your view, not ours.

    That we have most often avoided the canard that Barbados is an island.

    Even here links to a global culture of kleptocracy have been made by this writer, alone.

    Such acts requiring the deployment of the guillotine,

    Like

  • Critical Analyzer September 19, 2022 6:38 AM #: “Emera did not start the power company, it was a successfully government owned and run company…”

    @ CA

    When was the BL&P a state owned enterprise?

    Like

  • David
    How beautiful a day could it be when your misguided governance thesis is in tatters?

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    Pacha…we can only keep our eyes on proceedings going forward with a smile…

    “Such acts requiring the deployment of the guillotine,”

    the people can now CONFIRM without ANY DOUBT that they have been had.

    Like

  • @Artax September 19, 2022 10:29 AM

    Someone can correct me but I always believed the NIS and government combined owned more than 50% of the shares at some point in time.

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    how could they not know what is out there in volumes, when everyone else…..apparently except them, does…….

    they can try pulling the other leg now, it’s free..

    Like

  • @ CA

    At one stage, the BL&P, trading as Light and Power Holdings, had 63% locally owned shares, with the
    remaining 37% shares being owned by an American company,
    Leucadia.

    By 2011, Emera had purchased 79.7%, becoming the company’s largest shareholder.

    Like

  • @Artax

    I did some searching and the BL&P was an ideal public company with the major shareholder Emera at the time owning 38% in 2010 and the public owning the rest and I believe NIS would have been the next largest at around 28%.

    Then in 2011, Emera owned 79%. If my memory is correct, had NIS not sold their 28% stake, other bajans probably would not have sold their shares either and Barbadians would still have a say in decision making process instead of depending on FTC.

    Like

  • @CA

    There was an absence of leadership by the government regarding if BL&P was deemed a national asset. In this matter you are correct Tony Marshall and the MOF did not exert and ‘suasion’. Some will say that it would not have been ethical for them to do so.

    Like

  • @ David,

    I hope you are listening to Brasstacks.

    Major change in the ” Sugar ” industry.

    Like

  • As far as I am aware there are two kinds of shares. Common shares( you can vote), and preference shares. When push comes to shove the latter gets their money if the company folds. I would have to check my files on some of the other stuff I see here. I dabble in the Barbados Stock Market. May not be rich money wise but I have had some good teachers who encouraged me to learn about and invest in such. Now I would publicly like to say a big Thank You to Lynette Eastmond for her encouragement when I 1st started my small business. In my opinion, a woman with vision.😊

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    according to a buddy of mine who serenades me, let’s see how this story ends..

    ..what is being shared out there is not encouraging in any way and don’t let anyone sell ya a bill of goods or a pig with lipstick in a bag….complete with fairy tales and fantasies…..

    Like

  • The realty is money talks. Emera made an offer to the shareholders which they found too attractive to refuse. Its really that simple.

    In the case of Massy the same thing happened. Their parent company made an offer to the BS&T shareholders that they found too attractive to refuse and they sold.

    The reality is the buyers in both cases saw a future for both companies that the current owners did not see hence the companies changed hands. So having said that they have now to seek a return on the investments they made and as a result their decisions will be guided by their balance sheets.

    Is it unfortunate? Yes it is unfortunate that we lost two major entities but who yuh goin blame?

    Like

  • @ Artax
    At one stage, the BL&P, trading as Light and Power Holdings, had 63% locally owned shares, with the
    remaining 37% shares being owned by an American company,
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    It was the reverse – about 37% local.
    …and BL&P and Light and Power Holdings are/were two separate entities.

    Like

  • The supply of Electricity is an essential service.

    Like

  • John A

    With respect neither deal was ever as simple as that.

    Like

  • I would like to make a correction here. Now I….Lynette Holder….

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    Pacha….saw a speech where western countries are being urged to become more civilized, which would mean ending the savagery associated with colonialism…..

    Like

  • Waru
    That is impossible. Has history not proven that these barbarians can only be?

    Separately, we note that Charlie has inherited one trillion in looted wealth.

    Yet, the bible-reading asshole here defends White criminals like Elizabeth under the ignorance that them and a stinking god are one.

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    “That is impossible. Has history not proven that these barbarians can only be?”

    it really is wishful thinking, that savagery runs way too deep in those who are control freaks and believe they are entitled to control our earth and the people on it…

    there are certain people only useful for avoiding like the plague, politicians, their imps, pimps, fowls, and the Slaves are No. 1…..they cannot be anything but, that’s like asking barbaric colonials to change their ways…never going to happen, the hypocrisy in the former runs too deep, and they are not worth much of anything, but to hear them tell it, you would believe someone needs them….. that’s why i dismiss them as unworthy of my time, energy or attention…tell them what i gotta say and 9 times out of 10, they don’t like it, but tough.

    Charles was bound to inherit a lump sum….do you think that would assuage any future greed…

    Like

  • 🌍 Magnificent a.k.a Magno – Yu Heard Formula: C₂₁H₃₀O₂ IUPAC ID: (−)-(6aR,10aR)-6,6,9-trimethyl- 3-pentyl-6a,7,8,10a-tetrahydro- 6H-benzo[c]chromen-1-ol [[[ONE LOVE ONE WORLD ♡ ♥💕❤😘 🌍]]]

    Gospel 📖👩💭🧔🏽‍♀️✝ | 🙏📖👄 | 📕✝ House 🏠
    Sounds of Blackness
    The Pressure (Frankie Knuckles Classic Mix (With Intro))

    My back is against the wall more bills than money to pay
    But I know just who who to call on
    When I need relief I pray to help me fight
    The pressure, the pressure, the pressure, pressure of the world.
    The pressure, the pressure, the pressure pressure of the world.
    The pressure, the pressure, the pressure pressure of the world.
    Playin’ on the tension and your weakness are addictions,
    That lure your mind You can fight it. You can win
    For your deliverance, just bow your head and pray.
    To help you fight the pressure, the pressure, the pressure
    Pressure of the world.
    We all have our burdens to carry.
    I know when mine get to heavy.
    He’s always there to bear the load
    Give me strength and comfort any time I need relief
    From the pressures of the world I just believe.

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    Pacha….gotta tell ya, as i said recently, the Slaves and bloodline traitors are our biggest THREAT…massive DANGER to Afrikan people, as they have been historically…..we see their UGLY mindsets every day, once they are identified, the rest is easy,,,,

    Like

  • The evidence point to the Nordic countries being light years ahead of the rest of the world in implementing renewable energy. Should Barbados be developing a strategic relationship to benefit from their expertise?

    Like

  • The blogmaster is having a read of this document which stresses the need for uncomplicated legislation and process to govern this emerging sector. Are we there yet?

    Click to access local-energy-ownership.pdf

    Like

  • A trillion in looted wealth spells GUILTY!

    You cannot keep the loot and claim innocence.

    Case closed.

    Like

  • David
    You boys like to continually talk about the Nordic countries so lovingly. Wunna too love wunna White people.

    Don’t you see that these fuckers are on the leading edge of fascism? Have you not seen the fa-rightists they are electing.

    It is because of your mental disposition that these have been washed in the blood which makes them appear not to have been deeply involved in slavery.

    Is there not a contradiction. That countries deep in ice for nine months every year must teach us about alternative energy. Is this not mental slavery posed by you as a good idea?

    Like

  • Far rightists

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    “It is because of your mental disposition that these have been washed in the blood which makes them appear not to have been deeply involved in slavery.”

    upfront in our bloodlines, our cousins…..a LONG LIST OF THEM…

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    Pacha…..it’s so real, that if you look really closely, ya will also find traces of the Ottoman Empire.

    Like

  • Waru
    It was the first globalization project. Everybody profited, except us of course. Though many modern day slaves would disagree on that last point.

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    Pacha…now we know why they never wanted to send genetic testing kits to the Caribbean….when i first got that reply, my immediate response was….WHAT YALL HIDING…..

    then to find out not too long after….DEM GOT NUFF TO HIDE….

    Like

  • @Pachamama September 20, 2022 8:07 AM

    What is your definition of a far rightist? and a far leftist while you at it.

    Like

  • Who’s getting carried away?

    His argument was spot on and that is ALL that I am interested in. Yours, on the the other hand, is not.

    I noticed at the end that his call was for an admission of the debt and symbolic reparations only.

    I don’t hold out hope for reparations. But I DO love shoving the debt in the white supremacist faces. All those who believe that they did it on their own and we should be grateful to the barbarians for “civilising” us will be getting a dose of reality.

    Smashing the myth of white supremacy to pieces is more valuable in the long run than money. It would set my people free, FINALLY!

    They were simply the best at being the worst, the worst thieves, the worst murderers, the worst savages.

    Nothing to be proud of at all.

    Like

  • @Pacha

    The blogmaster mentioned the system governing effective RE implementation.

    Like

  • Regulators are part of Government and Industry and whitewashing complaints is the usual MO.
    The remedy is make more complaints at the next level.
    Faith
    He Moves

    Like

  • There is that man Franklyn again!

    Franklyn to challenge rate hike in court

    by COLVILLE MOUNSEY
    colvillemounsey@nationnews.com

    WITH THE HEARING on the controversial Barbados Light & Power application for a rate increase scheduled to begin tomorrow, there appears to be yet another twist in the tale.
    Former senator and trade unionist Caswell Franklyn has disclosed that he has sought legal counsel with the intent to challenge the Fair Trading Commission’s (FTC) decision to grant the utility company an interim rate increase.
    Constitution
    Franklyn is questioning the constitution of the commission, calling on the FTC to clear the air on whether the person acting as chairman on the rate hearing panel has the requisite qualifications for the post as outlined in the Fair Trading Commission Act.
    In the first schedule of the Act, it states that “the chairman shall be an attorney at law for at least ten years standing, or a person who has held high judicial office.”
    Deputy chairman Donley Carrington is chairing the panel hearing the application for the review of rates. This is because back in May this year, longstanding attorney at law Tammy Bryan recused herself as chairman in that matter only.
    “This is my position; you can only chair a Fair Trading Commission if you are an attorney with ten years of experience or you held high judicial office. He cannot act as chairman if he does not qualify to hold the position. I am speaking to an attorney . . . nobody not standing up, so I will stand up.
    “I am prepared to take this matter to court because I am one of the people affected. In fact, I pay two light bills and I am not prepared to stand by and let this happen. I am not going to be giving the Barbados Light & Power another cent more than they are entitled to,” said Franklyn.
    Last Saturday, the FTC announced that it was granting the utility company’s request for an interim rate hike, albeit 50 per cent of what was asked for in its 2021 application.
    However, chief executive officer of the FTC, Dr Marsha Atherley-Ikechi, said that Franklyn’s arguments were not in keeping with her understanding of the legislation. She explained that under the legislation
    the chairman is not required to preside over every panel, something which has been practised for years.
    Regulations
    “The issue here is very different in that the chairman still remains the chairman, she is just not the chair of that panel. Under utility regulations there are several panels. The chairman does not have to be on each of the panels and indeed she never was on each of the panel.
    “So the deputy chairman, who is not a lawyer, is now the chair of that panel but not the chairman of the commission. So they are two separate things, so I do not know that Mr Franklyn has grounds to contest it on that basis because there are provision in the legislation for panels in utility regulation and it does not specify that the chair of the panel has to be a lawyer,” explained Atherley-Ikechi.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Put consumer first

    EDITORIAL

    NO ONE SHOULD expect that Barbadian households will be rejoicing following the Fair Trading Commission’s (FTC) decision to approve an interim electricity rate increase for the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited (BL& P).
    It is no secret that the high cost of living is something that consumers continue to struggle with, so any action that increases such cost would reasonably be opposed.
    This is even though, as is the case with electricity, Government temporarily reduced value added tax (VAT) levied on this source of energy from 17.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent for electricity charged up to the first 250 kilowatt hours of everyone’s residential electricity bill. This measure took effect on August 1. BL& P also announced that Barbadians benefited from a 17 per cent decrease in their electricity bills in August because of a reduced fuel clause adjustment.
    Negated
    The electric utility company attributed the lower fuel costs passed on to consumers to its pressing its more efficient Clean Energy Bridge plant at Trents, St Lucy, into service.
    However, it is undeniable that some of the electricity cost ease provided by Government’s reduced VAT take and BL& P’s new plant will be negated by the FTC’s decision, effective September 16, to approve the company’s electricity rate increase.
    This is even though the interim rate increase approved by the regulator is half of what BL& P applied for and considering that the FTC said no to the higher tariff being applied retroactively. The principle of the commission’s decision-making, as outlined in the written decision, was that it must attempt to set rates which enable an efficient utility to finance its functions by earning a reasonable rate of return.
    It also said that the rates must also be fair and reasonable to customers, but that the utility company is entitled to earn annually sufficient to finance its operations and earn a reasonable rate of return. The FTC’s decision to award an interim rate increase comes virtually on the eve of the substantive rate hearing, which is scheduled to start tomorrow at the Accra Beach Hotel.
    A lot has changed since the last rate hearing, held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in 2009. At that time, Canadian energy company Emera Inc., while the majority owner, did not
    control the shareholding of BL& P as it currently does. This means that millions of dollars in dividends leave Barbados destined for Canada, a fact that is likely to be argued during the hearing. In addition, in 2009 Barbados was not targeting becoming a fully renewable energy economy by 2030.
    Realities
    No one will envy the task ahead of the FTC and its experts in seeking to balance the needs of BL& P with those of cash-strapped Barbadians, while simultaneously considering the energy sector transition that includes independent power producers.
    Whatever decision the FTC makes should reflect all of these realities, including BL& P’s ability to deliver a reliable service, but in the end what is fairest for the consumer should matter the most.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Not going to be prolix.
    Not going to repeat what I wrote earlier.
    75% of requested hit granted.
    Company and FTC claims ‘a win’.

    Anything longer than four sentences can be safely ignored.

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    Pacha…William, TLSN etc…..Kush Quarterly October – December published a little earlier today, when you have some time, check out the New Talk and other articles….

    oh….and don’t forget to check out the Fowl on the back page…..famous as ever..

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    Pacha…notice that there is a touch of Fanon.

    Like

  • Waru
    Thanks much!

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    Most welcome..

    Like

  • David

    And while we’re embroiled with things local, like you are want to so do.

    We beg to suggest that escalation in the Nato’-Russian conflict is seemingly inevitable given the current correlation of forces.

    Indeed, the contours of a global war are emerging both within the European theatre and the South China Sea.

    The wars may be starting in these places but the impacts of arsenals will be felt within the cities of Western belligerents as well. We kid you not!

    In these circumstances, we should expect Emera to return to the unFair Trading Commission for several more increases as oil prices approach 500 dollars a barrel.

    Putin has given a speech due for release today where it is expected that the SMO, Special Military Operation, will be upgraded to the self defense of the Russian Federation as the republics in the Donbass hold referenda by month’s end on their incorporation.

    In addition, Russia will vastly increase its troops from 200k to maybe 400k. The Nato trained Ukrainian Army is estimated at 600k.

    On the other front of this two-front war, the West continues to poke the dragon of the South China Sea, as if they even have a snowball’s chance in hell to win.

    On the first day of battle the Chinese will sink all their ships with hypersonic torpedoes. For which there is no countermeasure.

    And despite the much publicized recent Russian strategic withdrawal from Izyum, which was claimed as a victory in Ukraine and Western capitals nearly, 20,000 Ukrainian soldiers lost their lives many more injured. in a misbegotten offense. Connon fodder!

    At root, the West is caught in a classical Thucydedes trap. On the one hand, it wants to continue to rule the world. And on the other, it’s nadir has arrived. Either way is a lose-lose for the West.

    Indeed, they have already lost the economic and technological wars to China and Russia but like you David they do not want to lay down even to play dead 🤣

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    “Putin has given a speech due for release today where it is expected that the SMO, Special Military Operation, will be upgraded to the self defense of the Russian Federation as the republics in the Donbass hold referenda by month’s end on their incorporation.”

    i have been listening to and watching this for days.

    Like

  • i have been listening to and watching this for days…..of course you have, probably the featured article in the next edition of Krush quarterly.

    Like

  • Very interesting discussion about a resolution to delay rate proceedings to recognize the fact public counsel was recently replaced due to illness.

    Very interesting. We wait with interest to see how long a simple decision to make will take the FTC commissioners.

    Like

  • Watson: Still awaiting answers

    INTERVENORS OPPOSING the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited’s (BL& P) application for a rate increase are still awaiting some information from the company.
    This is what attorney Tricia Watson, who is intervening in partnership with chartered accountant David Simpson, told the Fair Trading Commission yesterday as the rate hearing convened at the Accra Beach Hotel in Christ Church.
    Watson complained that BL& P “has delayed by refusing to answer the intervenors’ initial interrogatories, citing a requirement for the [FTC] to direct them to answer”.
    “It must be obvious that . . . the company, if it was interested in speed and expedition, would immediately have commenced answering those interrogatories when they received them in March 2022, rather than sitting down on those interrogatories has for several months to only start answering in July,” she said.
    “And even having started answering those interrogatories, [BL& P] has failed to answer relevant interrogatories and has presented their answers and information in such a manner as to prevent intervenors from handling that information in a manner that would assist us in preparing our cases and analysing technical information with efficiency.”
    Watson asserted that the FTC “has in our view exacerbated that problem and contributed to the much touted regulatory lag by failing to direct the Barbados Light & Power…to answer the interrogatories, even though intervenors have pleaded for months for that to happen”.
    ‘No outstanding responses’
    ‘However, BL& P’s lead counsel Ramon Alleyne of Clarke Gittens Farmer told the hearing that “there are no interrogatory responses that are outstanding by the Barbados Light & Power in this matter”.
    “It has been repeated a number of times and I don’t wish the record to indicate that. I will not go back over arguments from my friend Miss Watson that have been previously tendered and have been answered but certainly as it relates to the record, there are no outstanding obligations on Barbados Light & Power’s part. We have answered interrogatories as ordered by this Commission,” he said.
    The rate hearing is scheduled to resume today at 9 a.m., at which time FTC panel chairman Dr Donley Carrington said they would hear a motion filed by Watson and Simpson for the FTC to order BL& P to amend its application based on the Fair Trade Commission depreciation decision dated March 25, 2022.
    He explained that depending on the outcome of this motion, the panel would also hear others filed by the company to amend the issues list, permit its expert witnesses to
    participate and give testimony virtually, for BL& P to give evidence via a witness panel, and a request by the company for confidentiality related to some pages of its application. (SC)

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Poor timing for seeking rate hike, says consumer body

    THE Barbados Consumer Empowerment Network (BCENe) has taken issue with how the country’s main power supplier, the Barbados Light & Power Company (BL& P), is going about seeking an increase in rates.
    The consumer advocate organisation is vehemently opposed to BL& P’s rate ask, in the midst of the current economic climate, and the lack of disposable income available to Barbadians due to the high cost of living.
    In a statement to the media yesterday, the BCNEe said it believes consumers deserve reliable, reasonably priced electricity.
    “We therefore take issue with how the matter concerning the application for rate increase by the Barbados Light and Power Company – the country’s main electricity supplier company – has been approached. Given that the FTC has agreed to an interim increase of 50 per cent, there must be an implied presumption that the FTC has enough evidence before it that would warrant an increase despite any objection from the intervenors. We find it unconscionable and unacceptable for the EMERA owned BL& P company to be asking for a rate increase in electricity cost, at a time where many Barbadians are facing
    hardship and all manner of dire economic and financial circumstances,” BCENe said.
    BCENe noted it supports the intervenors who are asking for due process and careful consideration on the hearing of the matter to determine whether BL& P should be granted the rate increase.
    According to the group, there seems to be a disconnect from the reality faced by consumers all over Barbados and the internal corporate affairs of the BL& P and its parent company EMERA.
    Business community
    “We are aware of the promise of a marginal increase in rates in the short term to business entities but we are surprised that the business community in Barbados has said little to nothing on the potential negative repercussions of the rate increase on their businesses and profit margins. We are therefore calling on the business community to speak up and speak out on this serious issue. We are also calling on the general public of Barbados to voice their concerns on the interim rate increase,” the statement added.
    BCNEe said it had similar
    concerns to those raised by intervenors who have already expressed their concerns to the FTC and the BL& P about what they would call “a monopolistic captivity” of consumers. “We believe that consumers will be compelled to pay higher electricity rates at a cost they could barely afford while the risks to BL& P will remain relatively low.”
    The statement said that over the years, Barbadians have struggled with unreasonably high utility rates and chronic underinvestment in utility infrastructure provided by the BL& P.
    “Lower electricity rates for consumers are what we really want in Barbados, but outside of this we believe that a rate increase at this time is not good for the economy of Barbados nor for consumers. BCENe believes that with unity, determination, and solidarity, as Barbadians, we can rally our support to show our disapproval of a rate increase for the BL& P and agitate to see more affordable and sustainable electricity rates in Barbados,” the statement concluded.
    (BA/PR)

    Source: Nation

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  • A people’s solution

    THE GROUNDSWELL OF INCESSANT cries from some people for relief from the rising cost of living is reverberating across Barbados.
    They are complaining about the cost of petrol, food prices and user fees at the banks. The interim rate increase granted to Barbados Light & Power will not help.
    Society has changed significantly over the past three decades with matters related to consumer and mortgage credit, deposit insurance, small business and compulsory land acquisitions becoming critical consumer matters.
    The public should not expect the Fair Trading Commission, the Office of Public Counsel or the Department of Commerce to resolve the bread and butter issues they are crying out against. These are state agencies and many of the citizens’ complaints are against government institutions.
    In many instances, laws on the books are always subjected to interpretation and can be contested in the courts. The reality is that individually many consumers do not have the means to defend their case.
    This is why the recently established Barbados Consumer Empowerment Network should
    be welcomed and supported.
    Regrettably, two months after its launch this advocacy group remains too low-keyed at a time when the voice of the consumer should be echoing across the land.
    Barbados does not have a record of successful consumer associations given the ineffectiveness of previous efforts even though we must laud the efforts of Malcolm Gibbs-Taitt and the late Curtis Hinds. There is an entrenched indifference to consumerism by a large section of our society who embrace the notion of survival of the fittest.
    The challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the rising levels of unemployment, and the spiralling costs caused by direct and indirect taxation plus inflation, are all forcing changes to our bad old individualistic attitudes.
    The situation should be clearly understood by the chairman of the new consumer lobby group, Lynette Eastmond, a former Minister of Government, leader of a former political party and an attorney. She should have a good grasp of the issues and connection with the public on the issues.
    This fledging consumer group must urgently step up its roles in educating, advising and counselling the public while lobbying
    parliamentarians to enforce consumer rights. The organisation needs funding to undertake its role effectively and the public should contribute to help maintain its independence.
    Even with a tech-savvy virtual office environment, there will be expenditure given the need for talented administrative support and to conduct credible research and consumer surveys. There must be no loopholes in the data presented to policymakers, the business community, the media and consumers.
    Even at this early stage, the new lobby group should consider a Consumer Protect Week to bring attention to itself and the key issues for which the public wants meaningful resolutions.
    Having a strong and united voice to champion a worthy cause may be the solution to consumers’ concerns. There is a need for a people’s solution.
    The recently established Barbados Consumer
    Empowerment Network should be welcomed and supported. This fledging consumer group must urgently step up its roles in educating, advising and counselling the public . . . .


    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Off to court after refusal
    by SHAWN CUMBERBATCH shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com
    THE FAIR TRADING COMMISSION’S (FTC) adjudication of the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited’s (BL& P) application for an electricity rate increase is headed to court after just one day of the hearings.
    A contentious session ended at the Accra Beach Hotel yesterday with Acting Public Counsel Sharon Deane vowing to petition “a higher court” for relief after the FTC panel chaired by Dr Donley Carrington dismissed two motions seeking a two-month adjournment of the proceedings.
    The Acting Public Counsel, supported by several intervenors at the rate hearing, is expected to file an injunction with the High Court today in an effort to get the suspension the FTC denied. Intervenors met at the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) headquarters yesterday evening to discuss the matter.
    Carrington, who led a panel that included commissioners John Griffith, Ruan Martinez, Dr Ankie Scott-Joseph and Samuel Wallerson, said the motions brought by the Office of Public Counsel and the BARP intervenors were “late in all circumstances”.
    “The Commission is of the view that it would be just to exercise its discretion to refuse the motion of the Office of Public Counsel and the Barbados Association of Retired Persons for the adjournment of this hearing, and the motions are so dismissed,” Carrington said in reading the FTC’s decision.
    Deane responded: “I just listened to what you said, but we would like to have the proceedings stayed as we intend to proceed to a higher court.”
    Carrington continued: “Noted. There was no application for the stay of the proceedings, so we would therefore be proceeding tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.”
    However, Deane said: “I just made an oral application for the stay of the proceedings. I couldn’t have made an application before until you made your decision not to grant the adjournment. So I’ve made an oral application to have the proceedings stayed because we intend to proceed to a higher court.
    “And this is customary
    and normal in court proceedings in superior courts. The act also allows for oral applications,” she added.
    Carrington said that until an order of the court was received by the FTC the Public Counsel’s application for a stay “is refused”.
    The FTC’s ruling on the motions for suspension came after several hours of deliberation in the afternoon, and followed Deane’s submission that the FTC “has known from as early as July 27 2022 . . . that then Public Counsel, Miss Alison Burke, was incapacitated by serious illness and was . . . on sick leave until August 15, 2022”.
    “This ensured that she was incapable of meeting any procedural deadlines, or communicating with her clients and performing her statutory mandatory duties,” Deane said.
    “Furthermore, there was additional notice at the procedural hearing of Monday, August 22, 2022. The transcript shows that Miss Burke was still on sick leave, and there was no set return date at that point. It was against that backdrop that the FTC still ignored all this information, almost forgetting their statutory duty to protect consumers and still set the hearing down for September the 21,” she argued.
    The Acting Public Counsel said that having taken up her post on Monday “you’re basically looking at a situation where you have the Office of the Public Counsel with literally a day to consume all the relevant information”.
    “My concern is that a failure to provide us with this adjournment creates a situation where it is almost an abuse of a discretion. To me, if there is a failure to grant the adjournment . . . before, such an adjournment, I do believe, will be granted in superior courts to this tribunal,” she asserted.
    But Carrington said that given the gravity of the matter, “the motions for an adjournment should have been made within reasonable time” of the FTC order which fixed the date for the rate hearing.
    “. . . The Commission considers that an adjournment at this stage would cause considerable disruption and inconvenience given the number of witnesses, the number of persons participating in the hearing as intervenors, and the length of the hearing,” he said.
    “An adjournment at this stage would result in
    substantial wasted time and costs, which eventually would be borne by the consumers.”
    Deane was supported in her call for a suspension by a number of intervenors, including attorney Tricia Watson, finance manager Ricky Went, Government’s Energy Division, represented by chief legal officer Samantha Cummins, and Lieutenant Colonel Trevor Tyrone Browne of the Cooperative Coalition/ Barbados Sustainable Energy Cooperative Society Ltd.
    They argued that the suspension should be permitted in the interest of fairness, and considering that having just been granted an interim rate increase, BL& P would face no financial disadvantage from a two-month delay.
    However, speaking on the utility company’s behalf, lead counsel Ramon Gittens, of Clarke Gittens Farmer, saw no need for a suspension of the hearing.
    “There . . . is significant data before the Commission to suggest that it is ready [and] able, and that no party or member of the public of Barbados will be disadvantaged by a hearing if it was to continue . . . and we strenuously object to the requested adjournment,” he said.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • The FTC Hearing so far has become mired in procedural matters.

    Like

  • ” Government will end the mask-wearing mandate and travel protocols related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at midnight on Thursday in Barbados.

    Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw said mask wearing in general was now going to be optional, but she said it remained firmly intact for select places across the island.

    Like

  • Canada will drop its Covid-19 vaccine requirement for visitors by September 30, government officials have told the Globe and Mail and other Canadian news outlets. On the same day, the country is reportedly also going to end random Covid arrival tests and make the ArriveCan app optional. But the requirement to wear masks on domestic flights and train trips will remain, according the sources.

    Like

  • @Hants
    Wondering if BT was being mischievous.
    BLP vs BL&P

    Like

  • @ TheOGazerts,

    It is probably just a typo by a sleep deprived employee.

    He was probably maving sure that he/she got the BTMI BMF story on page 42 correct.

    More bALONEY racing.

    Like

  • @TheOGazerts,

    Hope you read page 3. re BL&P returning $100 million to Emera in 2015.

    The front page was very “dramatic”

    Like

  • Fiona is devastating in Nova Scotia. Emera will be busy.

    https://www.cp24.com/video?clipId=2528412

    Like

  • Nova Scotia Power Inc. is a vertically integrated electric utility in Nova Scotia, Canada. It is privately owned by Emera

    Like

  • Why do people gripe.

    Barbados is the most developed island in the Region and far surpasses the UK, Canada and Britain.

    We are the envy of the world.

    No one can touch us.

    Like

  • Seems to have been much talk, and correctly so, about the repatriation of profits, a.k.a dividends.
    People seem less aware these are not $BDD. So an entity which doesn’t earn Fx, but spends plenty of it, for its primary input (oil), then gets to convert its profits ($BDD) to Fx, and export them.
    This is the perennial dilemma of having a currency, which has no value beyond the island’s shores.

    Like

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