A town hall meeting took place on last Monday night in west Edmonton to oppose the West TUC route for the Heartland Transmission Project.
This route skirts the south, east and northern boundaries of St. Albert, through the Sturgeon River Valley. The Heartland is but a small segment in the $14 billion "grid upgrade" proposed by the province.
Despite the smoke and mirrors, two key issues emerged at Tuesday’s town hall meeting:
• The grid upgrade is simply not needed,
• Power de-regulation is a failure.
No compelling argument or rationale has been put forth to support a need for any of these massive power lines. To date, the province’s forecasts have proven outdated, grossly overestimated and/or outright flawed. It would be downright laughable were it not such a critical issue for our future.
The province claims the grid upgrade is for industry. Yet industry contends the project will hurt the economy and drive industry out of the province.
So, given its dubious nature, why is the province building a massive grid upgrade that will hurt the economy? Well, the province claims it has to build the power lines due to deregulation. In other words, we must intentionally overbuild our power lines at great cost in order to comply with de-regulation. Clearly, power de-regulation is a failure.
There is no emergency. The lights won’t go off. The province’s scare tactics are shameful and ridiculous. On Monday, the concerns of the local community were on display. In the coming weeks, those concerns will replaced with outrage by all Albertans when it is revealed that the planned grid upgrade is a sham, and power de-regulation is a failure.
Ken Pacholok, Sturgeon County