EDMONTON, AB (July 19, 2012): A pending challenge on the constitutional authority of a transmission project approved under Bill 50 is more evidence of flawed legislation and the need for decision making on the lines to be returned to an independent needs based assessment process, Wildrose Utilities Critic Joe Anglin said today.
The court challenge is related to the Western Alberta Transmission Line (WATL) – one of five projects approve under the Electric Statutes Amendment Act – a 347-kilometre 500 kV HVDC line running from west of Edmonton to the east of Calgary. Lawyers filed a motion with the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) on June 28 which argues that the PC government does not have the constitutional authority to legislate the approval of the WATL as it involves transmission of electricity interprovincially, which is a federal jurisdiction. The AUC will begin hearing arguments on Friday with regards to the challenge. Anglin argued the legal challenge is more evidence that Bill 50 and the massive overbuild of new transmission lines is not in the best interests of Alberta families and businesses. “Because nobody really knows why these lines are being pushed through, Albertans will continue to question their purpose and fight against them,” Anglin said of the constitutional challenge. “This government has been untruthful all along when it comes to Bill 50 transmission lines. Albertans deserve answers and if the government won’t give them, they’re going to try and get them through other means. It’s time for this government to put Albertans first, scrap Bill 50, and return to an independent needs assessment for transmission projects.” Anglin will be attending the AUC proceeding beginning at 8:30 a.m. in Red Deer at the Holiday Inn Convention Centre, 6500 67 Street, and will be available for comment throughout the morning.