Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Big guns come out against Bipole plan

Filmon, Schreyer call for Hydro review

  • Print

Opponents of the Selinger government's plan to build a new transmission line down the west side of Lake Winnipeg are calling for a full review of Manitoba Hydro and its dam-buildings plans.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation released an open letter to Premier Greg Selinger Monday that said Hydro's $34-billion development plan is too risky and could result in a rate shock to customers. The letter includes statements against the project from former premiers Ed Schreyer and Gary Filmon and is supported by former Hydro executives Len Bateman and Will Tishinski.

"What it's doing is costing Manitobans dearly into the future," Bateman said. "I think it's high time to reexamine it."

Bateman, Hydro's former CEO, and others called on the province to have a non-partisan, independent review of Hydro's entire scheme before allowing it to continue.

It's the most risky and costly plan this province has ever seen," the CTF's Prairie director Colin Craig added. "It's crucial to get it right.''

Besides a 3.5 per cent increase this year, Hydro has said it wants increases of 3.95 per cent in each of the remaining 18 years to help it build the estimated $3.28-billion Bipole III transmission line and the proposed Keeyask and Conawapa generating stations on the Nelson River.

"The Manitoba citizen that's paying a hydro bill in the future is going to be paying for this poor decision," Bateman said.

Municipal Government Minister Stan Struthers, the minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro, said there won't be a review beyond what's already planned.

Struthers said without further hydro development, the province could see repeats of the mid-1970s when blackouts were more common.

"If we delay and leave Manitoba in a position where we run out of power, then the logical outcome of that is that we will have less investment in this province," Struthers said. "We have too much at stake in this province."

Bipole III Coalition spokesman Garland Laliberte, a former dean of engineering at the University of Manitoba, said construction of the new transmission line should be stopped pending a review.

"It would be better to stop a plan and give up the money that's been spent so far than to lose the money that we could lose with a $34-billion investment that we don't know how it will be paid for," he said.

Planning and consultations for Bipole III's western route over the past decade has cost about $200 million, about six per cent of the estimated cost of the new line.

Laliberte and others said an independent panel would look at the abundance of shale gas as a new cheaper alternative to burning coal in the United States, and whether it's reduced the need to build the Keeyask and Conawapa generating stations.

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 29, 2013 A7

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Exciting changes expected for Saturday's Santa Claus parade

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • July 1, 2012 - 120701  -   Canada Day fireworks at The Forks from the Norwood Bridge Sunday, July 1, 2012.    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press
  • Someone or thing is taking advantage of the inactivity at Kapyong Barracks,hundreds of Canada Geese-See Joe Bryksa’s goose a day for 30 days challenge- Day 15- May 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How much does the premier's apology mean to you?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google