Monday, October 26, 2009

Bill 50 presentation in Leslieville

Joe Anglin (right) from the Lavesta group of concerned land owners addressed a public meeting in the Leslieville Elks Hall on Thursday, October 22. Following the meeting, a number of local residents spoke to Anglin about his presentation. Bill 50 deals with high voltage power transmission lines going across private lands.
Anglin's message can be summed up as follows:
Bill-50 proposes to give the Cabinet (Minister) the authority to arbitrarily determine which transmission line proposals will be deemed critical projects. When passed, the Cabinet (Minister) will have the authority to approve any project, without the necessity of a regulatory process or public hearing. Before Bill-50 has even passed the minister is announcing the approval of $16 billion in expenditures to build giant transmission lines from Northern Alberta to reach the California market.
Ironically, Bill-50 is not necessary; the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) already has the legislative authority to approve any project, if the matter is urgent, without giving notice or holding a hearing. The AUC only needs justification and proof that the matter is sufficient and urgent.
Why Bill-50 and what is the difference between the AUC’s current legislative authority and the newly proposed authority in Bill 50? The AUC’s engineers are held accountable to the ethical standards of the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA). When Bill 50 is passed, the Cabinet, or Minister, will not be held accountable to any ethical standards governing engineers.

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