Overhead Power Lines Redford’s Legacy in Strathcona County

RETA Alison Redford photo 2Commenting on the resignation announcement by Premier Alison Redford on March 19, the recent Sherwood Park News editorial hit the nail on the head when it said, “Despite Redford’s proud speech of accomplishments in the lead-up to her resignation, her legacy in Strathcona County will be one of overhead power lines and the not-quite hospital.” The editorial is certainly accurate. We would simply add the overhead power line legacy to include PC MLAs David Quest and Cathy Olesen and former PC MLA Iris Evans, because it was not only Alison Redford who supported the overhead monster Heartland line, but Quest, Evans and Olesen did not support, in a meaningful way, opposition to the overhead line when Strathcona County residents needed their help the most.

The editorial goes on to say, “Yes, there are other projects happening right now, but they were mostly funded before Redford became premier (the Bethel Transit terminal, ring road) or as a result of something else (Fultonvale Elementary’s necessary renovations as parents pulled their kids from Colchester due to the aforementioned power line’s proximity).” The editorial hit the nail on the head again. Colchester Elementary School was forced to shut its doors in June 2013 because parents were not willing to risk their children’s health with the Heartland line being built only 140 metres from the school. A 500kV overhead high voltage power line that close would have subjected kindergarten to grade-6-aged children to abnormally high levels of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and pollutant-laden corona ions. The cost of shutting down Colchester School and renovating Fultonvale School to accommodate Colchester students cost Alberta taxpayers a minimum of $21 million. That money could have more than funded burying the Heartland line by Colchester School, thereby saving a respected and well-maintained school within our system at a time when new schools are dearly needed across the province.

As we have said on numerous occasions in the past, the overhead Heartland double-circuit 500kV high voltage power line, the largest ever built in our province, will go down in history as one of the PC Government’s, Alberta Electric System Operator’s and Alberta Utilities Commission’s biggest mistakes ever.

RETA Iris Evans photoRETA Dave Quest photoRETA Cathy Olesen photo

~ by RETA on March 21, 2014.

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