Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/11/2013 (1310 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Rosann Wowchuk, former NDP minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro, is complaining that the call by an increasing number of Manitobans for a non-partisan, fully independent and informed review of Hydro’s expansion plans is nothing more than a delay tactic.
On the subject of delays, there is no higher authority than Ms. Wowchuk. As the responsible minister, and later as deputy premier, she was in a position to launch the requested review as early as five years ago. That was the first time, of many, that the Public Utilities Board formally called for the establishment of “a quasi-judicial panel with an independent adjudicative authority and evidence based process” to review Hydro’s expansion plans.
But she and the rest of the NDP cabinet chose to ignore those calls. They chose instead to delay the review with a plan to introduce a severely compromised review years later.
They decided to get the expansion started without informed review and authorization. The ill-conceived Bipole III is now licensed, the damn-the-torpedoes environmental review of the Keeyask generating station is underway, and Hydro has launched its so-called “engagement” exercise for transmission lines that will export and distribute that power. With this disingenuous and dangerous strategy, they hoped then, and still do, that the expansion would be so far advanced that it will not be possible for any future government to pause the project.
Ms. Wowchuk has been gone from the legislature for more than two years but obviously not from the NDP. Considering the NDP’s track record on this issue, it is hypocritical to paint as a delay tactic a call for a broadly based review that should have begun several years ago under her watch.
Engineering Dean Emeritus
University of Manitoba