Government Pushing North-South Lines Forward
The government announced today that they will push through two North-South transmission lines that were initially ‘reviewed’ by a PC-appointed and dominated panel. That review came out claiming that the two North-South lines were needed (even though panelists heard from many stakeholders and experts who demonstrated that the lines are not needed). The government today embraced the PC panel’s report. Unless there is a change of government, the entire massive transmission overbuild set in motion under Bill 50 will proceed.
Ted Morton, the current energy minister, has been reduced to parroting the premier’s lines on this, even though they explicitly contradict things he said during the leadership race. Ted Morton once thought that these lines were an overbuild; but, today he praised the government’s direction on this.
Fortunately, the final say is still with us, the people. These lines can still be stopped. After the next election, a new government or a coalition of opposition parties could work together to stop all of these unneeded transmission lines from going ahead. All opposition parties agree on this issue. As Wildrose Energy Critic Paul Hinman put it, “There are actual pieces of critical infrastructure out there – schools, hospitals and Highway 63, for example – that we need now instead of power lines that we may never need. We should scrap these lines immediately and start fresh with a fair and independent needs assessment.”
The government needs to change course on this issue now, or the people of Alberta will demand a change of government.