Premier Redford Taken to Task by Strathcona County Mayor Linda Osinchuk

In today’s edition of the Sherwood Park News, Strathcona County Mayor Linda Osinchuk takes the Premier to task for not accurately stating the costs of burying the Heartland Transmission Line in her recent speech to the Chamber of Commerce.

“There’s really not been an alternate review of the cost,” she told reporters after Redford’s speech. “The applicants, which are AltaLink and Epcor, have been the only ones who put the cost in of an underground (line). There was never another cost analysis done, and that’s all we were asking — to get real, true analysis… When it comes to densely-populated locations and schools, it should be buried. If it’s the cost, then get true cost. I think that still can be done and should be done. That would clear a lot of air.”

Redford claimed in her speech that the impact on the community could not be minimized without substantial cost. She also asserted that the transmission lines are needed. However, as the mayor pointed out, the government has steadfastly refused to listen to independent cost estimates about burying the line and has instead relied on the grossly inflated costs presented by AltaLink. The Premier has also persistently refused to allow an independent needs assessment related to the Heartland Line to proceed. If she is so convinced that the line is needed, then why is she so afraid to allow an independent needs assessment?

Redford’s speech to the Chamber was riddled with absurd misinformation. RETA Executive Director Garnett Genuis also called her to task for this: “You try your best to get the government to listen, but when there’s just such a willingness to misstate the facts, when the premier comes here and says things that aren’t true, that makes it difficult. Hopefully over the coming days, we’ll be able to continue to put the pressure on to bring along change.”

You can read the complete story on the Premier’s visit to Sherwood Park here:

~ by RETA on February 17, 2012.

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