Residents urged to oppose hydro plan


   Steinbach MLA Kelvin Goertzen is encouraging residents that will be affected by Manitoba Hydro’s proposed Bipole II project. He says that the government is putting out wrong information on the project including that the route can not be changed.

   “There are a couple of things – obviously when they are going to the public meetings – they should be clear in telling officials that we do not believe that it is the right location for the line but that it should going completely on the other side of the province like Hydro initially planned,” stated Goertzen. “This decision can be changed.”

   When proposing the line, Hydro had to keep the project clear of national and provincial parks and First Nation Land. After consideration, the utility has proposed a 1,364 kilometre line that runs from the Conawapa generating station near The Pas, through the province and down into the southeast.

   Opposition leader Hugh McFayden says his party tried to allow people to speak about the project at a recently Crown Corporations Committee meeting but says that they were not allowed the chance.

   “Much to our surprise the NDP government refused to allow both these people to be heard,” stated McFayden. “The opposition is very strong once you get into areas were you have a lot of privately owned land.” 

   According to a map, the new hydro line will cross Highway 75 and run east from Ste. Agathe along PR 305. It will continue eastward until north of Mitchell where it will turn northward to PR 210 east of Landmark and then head towards Ste. Anne where it turns north again.

   MEanwile, Manitoba Hydro announced a compensation package that is expected to appease opposition from landowners. The crown corporation says they will take assessment value of the land and multiply it by 1.3 then multiply that amount by 75% as an easement payment.  Crop land that may be affected will also be compensated.

   The aim is to have construction start in 2012 and have the line operating in 2017.

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