Picco tables Ikuma power report

The Ikuma group is recommending that the Nunavut Power Corporation be run as a Crown corporation.



RANKIN INLET — Nunavut’s minister responsible for the power corporation, Ed Picco, tabled the full version of the Ikuma report for discussion in the Nunavut Legislative Assembly’s committee of the whole this week.

The 121-page report details the options available for providing power to Nunavut as of the March 31, 2001 deadline for the division or restructuring of the Northwest Territories Power Corp. (NTPC) approaches.

The Ikuma group is a committee of power utility experts that Picco put together last year to provide advice to the Nunavut government.

Having already decided to go it alone, Nunavut must decide what form its own electric power utility might take.

“The Ikuma report favors the corporation model, over privatization or running the utility through a government department,” Picco told the committee.

Picco said the corporation model has simplicity and flexibility going for it.

“Simplicity, because the power corporation model already exists in law and flexibility to create its own business policy’s independent of the government. It will allow the corporation to strike a greater balance between businesses and social policy,” Picco said.

He said that a crown corporation would also pay less tax than a privately run utility. Other issues considered in the report are alternative power sources such as fuel cells, wind and solar power, environmental considerations and how to regulate the new power corporation.

Picco said that the report advocates disbanding the public utilities commission and letting the government control electricity rates directly.

The Ikuma report also recommends that in the long term, the government should eliminate power rate subsidies and that at some point in the future the new power corporation should assume responsibility for fuel as well as electricity.

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