Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/7/2013 (1438 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The facts now available show that the NDP have been willing to spend more than $1 billion to lie to Manitobans about its directives to Manitoba Hydro about Bipole III.
For almost 10 years, the NDP has been peddling an idea to spend an additional $1 billion to reroute Bipole III down the west side of Manitoba rather than the much shorter east side of Lake Winnipeg route. Manitoba Hydro administration, such as former Hydro vice-president Will Tishinski, said the east route made far better sense. The NDP said it knew better.
After all, the NDP had a plan to create an eco-tourism area by having UNESCO offer a heritage designation to an area of a northern forest known as Pimachiowin Aki. They said a hydro line would negatively impact that UNESCO bid. However, the government had to know that was a false assertion. After all, they planned to build a road on the east side of Lake Winnipeg, and UNESCO was not concerned about the presence of mining and other activities in the area.
The fact of the matter is, a former UNESCO World Heritage Committee chairman, Jim Collinson, referred to the NDP’s plan to move the Bipole line to the west side was a “bewildering beer parlour decision.”
Collinson also noted that the East Side Road posed a greater risk to the UNESCO designation, as there are potential cultural impacts from increased tourism. Collinson noted five years ago that the UNESCO designation was a hard sell and that it remains so now, as the idea seems to have come solely from the NDP government.
The NDP also claimed that power sales to Wisconsin and Minnesota would be put at risk by building the Bipole line through that forest. So it sought approval to cut down more trees and use more materials to build on the west side, saying selling power to customers east of Manitoba justified a power line going west.
The NDP ignored legal clauses in Minnesota and Wisconsin that only dictated the power Manitoba provides come from renewable energy sources. Manitoba Hydro provides that type of energy.
It is sad that the NDP has been trying to pass this fiction off as fact since 2004, but the restrictions placed on those trying to study Hydro’s expansion plans now show the NDP is not interested in the truth. Tishinski said the “Needs For and Alternatives To” study on the Bipole III can’t be reliable without a complete study of the plan.
It’s now clear, based on the evidence provided by experts, that the NDP is willing to gamble Manitoba Hydro’s future so it can try to reach for short-sighted political gains. There is no financial justification to carry out this plan and Manitoba Hydro ratepayers will be forced to pay the tab that’s left behind.
Progressive Conservative critic
for Manitoba Hydro
MLA for St. Paul