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Eight weeks of hearings into Bipole III underway

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Manitoba's Clean Environment Commission started eight weeks of hearings today into the controversial Bipole III transmission line project.

The hearings started at 9 a.m. sharp with opening statements by Manitoba Hydro and those communities along the 1,400-kilometre proposed route.

Hydro lawyer Doug Bedford said the Crown utility will explain why the new line is needed and what it will do to help the impacted communities, which stretch from northern First Nations down the west side of the province through farming areas to the south of Winnipeg.

Bedford said Hydro believes one reason for the controversy over Bipole III is that Manitobans take their power supply for granted and don't appreciate what's needed to deliver it.

Hydro has said the new line is needed to improve the reliability of its transmission system to the domestic market.

The hearing continues the rest of the week in Winnipeg. It resumes in Gillam next week.

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