Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/10/2014 (982 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
At the Sept. 24 meeting of the Legislative Committee on Crown Corporations, Opposition critic Ralph Eichler had many questions about Hydro’s Community Development Initiative, implemented as part of the Bipole III project.
Hydro CEO and president Scott Thomson acknowledged that Hydro will spend upwards of $60 million under this program over a period of at least 10 years. This is new money and part of the reason for the recent $1.37-billion hike in the cost estimate for Bipole III.
Pressed for an answer as to whether there is an appeal mechanism allowing communities along the Bipole III line who do not sign up initially to opt in later, Thomson had the following to say: “We’re not providing compensation for impacts — negative impacts, so there really isn’t an appeal mechanism. It’s a gift to use, to be blunt.”
Others have characterized these payments as hush money, particularly those municipalities that were concerned about loss of voice if they accepted these “gifts” from Hydro.
Individual landowners along Bipole III can be excused for wondering if Hydro has $60 million to spend on bribes for towns, municipalities and First Nations communities along the line, why are landowners being offered only a one-time pittance for damages that will go on forever. Maybe that’s why more than 200 of them, mostly in the Red River Valley, have refused to sign up and may be facing expropriation.
Karen Friesen, landowner