So let’s recap the Bipole debate, shall we:
- It will cost millions more to run it on the west side as opposed to the east side of Lake Winnipeg.
- Hydro initially recommended the east side solution
- the Prov gov’t directed Hydro to run it on the west side
- The Provincial government provides two reasons. First, that building a line down the east side will endanger a UNESCO application. Second, the environmental impact of building the Hydro line will cause US customers not to buy Hydro power from Manitoba
Well, the Government has planned an all-weather road down the est side of the lake, so there goes their UNESCO argument. They could add the line to the swath and the environmental impact of the combined road/line would be less than the impact of the individual projects.
Well, there was an interesting bit of information on the National last night.
Last night’s National on CBC was all about the oil sands. There was some interesting information presented about American attitudes toward the oil sands.
The interesting thing about that report was that they mentioned an Ipsos Reed poll taken earlier this month. Of the Americans who had heard about the oils sands, 72% were in favour.
That”s right, 72% in favour of what some have called the greatest potential environmental catastrophe facing mankind.
So, if 72% of Americans are in favour of that, how can one conclude that there would be enough of an outcry from Americans about building the Hydro line on the east side of Lake Winnipeg to result in not buying Hydro from Manitoba.
The answer? You can’t.
If 72% favour oil sands development, there is no way that there would ever be enough of an outcry to cause US states not to buy Hydro from Manitoba if the line goes down the east side.
So tell us provincial Government, why don’t you want to build on the east side? What’s the real reason? Is it, as some have suggested, an unwillingness to deal with First Nations ( although you could easily tie it in with all weather road access)? Or is someone’s pockets being lined?