Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Opinion
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Bipole debacle getting worse

“We have raised the amount of compensation we’re providing from 100 per cent to 150 per cent of the independent assessment of the land value. That is for the right of easement. The landowner still has the ability to use that land, but they’re getting a one-time payment equivalent to 150 per cent (of fair market value).”

— Manitoba Hydro spokesman Bill Henderson on Bipole III compensation

“It’s not just about the money — it’s about everything.”

— A Red River Valley grain producer, standing outside Hydro’s Portage Avenue head office

From the start, the provincial plan to build Bipole III down the west side of the province and not the shorter and cheaper eastern route has been a public relations disaster of monstrous proportions.

Every action and comment that Manitoba Hydro and the NDP government have made on the Bipole III file have only made the situation worse ... for the government.

And now, it seems, the powers that be are not communicating at all to the people who will be most affected.

On Monday, dozens of farmers and their families huddled outside the Manitoba Hydro building and the Manitoba legislature to protest what they say is the unfair treatment they’ve received over the construction of the transmission line.

The farmers, represented by the Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations, told the Winnipeg Free Press that Hydro has refused to answer what they’ll be paid in compensation for the 1,400-kilometre line and the towers that will cross their land.

What they want, they say, is reassurance that they will have some say in the work surveyors and construction crews do on their land.

Affected farmers began organizing last year to restrict Hydro surveyors from working on their land, after they complained that Hydro workers failed to ask for permission to do so.

“They’re surveying the land right now and they weren’t supposed to go into the land and survey if before we have this biosecurity protocol in place,” Brunkild farmer Jurgen Kohler of the Bipole III Landowner Committee said last December. “They just went ahead.”

In its defence, Manitoba Hydro says that the Land Surveyors Act permits surveyors to access property legally, and further, that the Crown corporation has developed a biosecurity policy with input from Manitoba Agriculture and several agricultural-industry groups to prevent staff and contractors from transferring soil diseases from one location to another.

That’s all well and good, but producers who own the land have not been given any such assurance.

In its defence of the decision to build Bipole III on the west side of the province, the government claimed that a community benefits agreement would have to be negotiated with each affected First Nation community on the east side of Lake Winnipeg, something that would cost both Manitoba and Hydro millions of taxpayer dollars.

Unfortunately, the government doesn’t seem to have the same deference for landowners on the west side. But throwing money at the problem is not good enough. These are not farmers who are anti-development or even anti-Bipole for that matter. These are people who might even be on the government’s side of the issue if treated with some respect.

This lack of consultation with producers simply shows the NDP has learned nothing from the Bipole III debacle, and is still clinging to some paternalistic sense of “we know what’s best for you, trust us.”

In this day and age, that’s simply not good enough.

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 26, 2014

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 2 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There is a long history of Hydro treating other peoples land like it was their own.

Hydro speaks with forked tongue. They know as well as anybody that the unit value of the land displaced has little to do with the real cost to the owner. The real cost is not about giving up a fraction of an acre of land. The lines and towers negatively impacts the value of very large area adjacent to the line and towers, not to mention the smaller area actually displaced.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

“We have raised the amount of compensation we’re providing from 100 per cent to 150 per cent of the independent assessment of the land value. That is for the right of easement. The landowner still has the ability to use that land, but they’re getting a one-time payment equivalent to 150 per cent (of fair market value).”

— Manitoba Hydro spokesman Bill Henderson on Bipole III compensation

Please subscribe to view full article.

Already subscribed? Login to view full article.

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up

“We have raised the amount of compensation we’re providing from 100 per cent to 150 per cent of the independent assessment of the land value. That is for the right of easement. The landowner still has the ability to use that land, but they’re getting a one-time payment equivalent to 150 per cent (of fair market value).”

— Manitoba Hydro spokesman Bill Henderson on Bipole III compensation

Subscription required to view full article.

A subscription to the Brandon Sun Newspaper is required to view this article. Please update your user information if you are already a newspaper subscriber.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media