Private profit, Crown corporations, and the public debt

By Craig Blacksmith

The following is an analysis of the very strange arrangements the Manitoba Hydro Crown Corporation has in Canada, and of the indebtedness of Crown Corporations in general. First, let’s examine the legal nitty-gritty. My commentary is in blue type. 

Manitoba Hydro was passed as a legislative act.

Its purpose was to provide power to Manitoba and excess power to outside Manitoba.

The corporation is an agent of “Her Majesty” and all assets belong to the corporation. It also cannot be taken to court.

Although it carries the name of a corporation, the Corporations Act does not apply to it.

Manitoba Hydro has carte blanche or unilateral authority to do what it wants when it wants on any .

It has total monopoly.

It has the written authority to “provide power.”


It also has limited liability.

The corporation collects all income and revenue.

It has a half billion line of credit.

The province (the people) guarantee the loans.

So what this means is that the people are  liable for the debts of the corporation which is the “crown”. This is a legislated corporation with the “Queen” as the head of the corporation. She collects all revenues and yet the people are responsible for the debts. Now apply the same scenario to the British North America Act. The BNA Act was renamed to create Canada. Canada is now 1.5 Trillion dollars in debt. Just like Manitoba Hydro, Canada has made the people responsible for the debts of the Queen.

How does a company with a complete monopoly on a vital commodity end up with a 13 billion dollar debt? Which is then expected to increase to 25 billion. If you were the sole supplier of any one thing, how would you end up in debt? The same applies to Canada, the British North America Act. As far as I can tell, every provincial power company is a crown corporation. We have crown corporations with exclusive monopolies sinking deeper and deeper into debt. B.C Hydro, Alberta Hydro, Saskatchewaan Manitoba Hydro, Ontario Hydro, Quebec Hydro B.C Hydro, Alberta Hydro, Saskatchewan Hydro, Manitoba Hydro, Ontario Hydro, Quebec Hydro – all Crown (Her “Majesty” the Queen’s) corporations holding the land and all assets.

So far every hydro corporation is in debt and the people are left with the debt. All revenues are collected by the crown. These are not run of the mill corporations. These are “crown” corporations and are not subject to corporate laws. These crown corporations are passed into legislation by the respective provinces.

And where does this “Crown” get its authority from? The “Royal” proclamation of 1763. While the court ruling shown appears to apply to the “Indian”, the government is also applying that same law to all of the people. “Vested in the crown”…meaning everything, including the people, belong to the “Royal” family. If I’m out in left field on this, I’d like to hear a rational argument against it.

There is a “Clean Environment Commission” heading scheduled for May. There are seven groups represented. All seven were approved for funding to take part but only 6 received funding for legal counsel. Now apply this to the British North America Act, its 1.5 Trillion dollar deficit, the 60 billion annual interest payment and the fact that the deficit will continue to grow and our grandchildren will be saddled with this debt. These are “crown” debts not the people’s. It is as if your employer went into debt from mismanagement, and then, according to policy, started deducting your pay check to pay off this debt without your consent.

Would you as an employee allow this to happen? The community I represent is Dakota Plains and we were not afforded legal counsel. All the other groups have lawyers who, having sworn their allegiance to the crown, are not questioning the Crown corporation as a legislative act.

According to the Manitoba Hydro Act, her “Majesty”, the Crown, has carte blanche to use the land with or without the consent of the landowner.In addition, the government or the people, having passed this into legislation, have absolutely no recourse. The crown makes the laws and the people are bound by them. So why then are the people not standing up to this? If it’s because they didn’t know that’s legitimate. If any other corporation acted in this manner, they would be liable. Not the “crown” corporation.Why? Corporate laws do not apply and the province has accepted liability.

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