Heartland power line meeting set for Thursday night

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – After making newspaper headlines and the evening news for their gathering at the AUC public session held in Morinville Oct. 25, a group of area residents opposed to the Heartland Transmission Project are set to hold their own meeting Thursday night.

The information session will take place Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Morinville Paris Hall and is being organized by the Blue Line Group, named after the unpopular alternate route the power line project could take through the Morinville area.

Organizer and Blue Line Group spokesperson Colleen Boddez said the event has lined up two of what she refers to as Alberta’s most informed experts on the subject of power lines and property rights. Keith Wilson and Joe Anglin will speak about how and why the PC government is trashing the fundamental rights of Albertans.

For Boddez and her group, it is not a matter of which route the controversial project takes, but the principal of property rights and whether there is a need for the power lines at all. It was a subject she and some of the group attempted to address at the AUC session in Morinville Oct. 25 despite the AUC stating the validity of the project would not be on the discussion agenda.

“We are trying to inform people what is going on because we’re going to have power bills that are three, four or more times higher than they are right now,” Boddez said, adding the transmission lines that will come before a hearing next spring are not needed. “This infrastructure has been put in place – a $16 billion infrastructure – virtually to export power to the [United] States. And it’s going to be on the backs of Albertans, and this isn’t just necessarily going to affect the people whose land this goes on; it’s going to affect all Albertans because of the power increase.”

Boddez argues the infrastructure cannot be built without Albertans shouldering the price tag with increased energy prices. The anti-power line advocate said she believed increases in power costs will drive big business out of Alberta, depriving Albertans of jobs.

“It’s going to have devastating consequences to the economy,” she said. “The Stelmach government has done everything backwards in order to have this process go through in order for these transmission lines to go ahead.”

Boddez said she anticipates Thursday’s public meeting will run between 90-minutes and two hours, but regardless of just how long the session runs, she is confident that the turnout will be strong.

“We had the September 21 meeting with Joe Anglin and Keith Wilson and [Wildrose Alliance Leader] Danielle Smith and we had 225 people attend that meeting,” she said, noting she’s hoping for similar numbers Nov. 4.

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