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Manitoba Government Announces New Appointments to Manitoba Hydro Board

Press Release

December 4, 2023

The Manitoba government has appointed a new board of directors for Manitoba Hydro that is focused on affordability for Manitobans, Finance Minister Adrien Sala, minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro, announced today.

“Manitoba Hydro is the crown jewel of the province and I am confident this new board will deliver for Manitobans and for Hydro employees,” Sala said. “Hydro is the source of our Manitoba advantage, which is a low-carbon energy economy that keeps energy costs affordable for families and provides thousands of good jobs across the province. In order to continue building this advantage, Hydro must always be kept public and never privatized.”

The new board of directors will be chaired by Ben Graham, president and CEO of Manitoba Blue Cross and former president and CEO of Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI). Graham will be supported by former Hydro employees, labour experts and Indigenous leadership.

“I know how important Manitoba Hydro is to this province,” said Graham. “I’m looking forward to working with the new board and delivering on the mandate given to us. This new board will ensure Hydro remains a leader in providing renewable energy for Manitobans while keeping rates affordable.”

One of the board’s top priorities will be to ensure the long-term affordability of Manitoba Hydro rates and reliability of service for the people of Manitoba by being careful stewards of Hydro’s finances, noted Sala.

“I am excited to work with this new board and want to thank the new members for accepting this responsibility,” said Sala. “I also want to thank the outgoing board members for their service to Manitobans.”

New board members are:

  • Ben Graham (chair) – president and CEO, Manitoba Blue Cross and former president and CEO, MPI;
  • Jamie Wilson (vice-chair) – vice-president, Indigenous strategy, research and business development, Red River College Polytechnic;
  • Tom Akerstream – former manager of Power Smart, manager of head office facilities, and energy and sustainability advisor at Manitoba Hydro;
  • Joy Cramer – CEO Southern Chiefs Organization, former deputy minister of family services, and deputy minister of housing and community development from 2009 to 2016;
  • Nicole Chabot (returning member) – vice-president, L. Chabot Enterprises, and immediate past-chair of Manitoba Heavy Construction Association;
  • Vernon Kalmakoff – First Nations entrepreneur in the Westman region;
  • Paul Moist – former national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), served as co-chair of former premier Gary Doer’s Economic Advisory Council and vice-chair of MPI;
  • Eric Redhead – MLA for Thompson, former chief of Shamattawa First Nation;
  • Mike Spence – mayor of Churchill, former Manitoba Hydro and Travel Manitoba board member; and
  • Leslie Turnbull – senior advisor and former principal of Viewpoints, former vice-chair of Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation, and previous Manitoba Hydro board member.

The board will aim to provide oversight, vision and sound fiscal stewardship to harness the untapped potential of Manitoba Hydro to keep rates low for families, support the province’s economic development potential, advance Indigenous reconciliation and move Manitoba into a clean energy future, noted the minister.

A copy of the mandate letter is available at

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For more information:

  • Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
  • Media requests for general information, contact Communications and Engagement:



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