Alberta ethics commissioner asked to probe accusations over power deal

Alberta’s ethics commissioner is being asked to investigate allegations being made by the head of Calgary-owned Enmax about secret deals between the province and power companies.

Alberta Ethics Commissioner Neil Wilkinson

CALGARY — Alberta’s ethics commissioner is being asked to investigate allegations being made by the head of Calgary-owned Enmax about secret deals between the province and power companies.

Last month the province approved Bill 50, which allows planning to begin on billions of dollars of upgrades to Alberta’s power grid without the scrutiny of outside regulators.

Enmax CEO Gary Holden is accusing decision makers of making secret deals behind closed doors with those who support Bill 50.

Both Liberal Leader David Swann and Wildrose Alliance Leader Danielle Smith say they want a probe into the matter.

Premier Ed Stelmach bluntly responded to the accusations Wednesday by calling them “a bunch of crap.”

Energy Minister Mel Knight also denies any special deals were made while admitting he doesn’t know all the details about who the Alberta Electric System Operator has met with.

“The idea that there was some sort of private divvying up of things is wrong,” said Knight, adding that plans to upgrade the province’s aging electrical infrastructure have been on the books for five years.

“There was no carving up of the province — that’s a bunch of baloney.”

Smith, however, suggested all planning for transmission upgrades should be halted until Ethics Commissioner Neil Wilkinson can investigate Holden’s accusations.

Holden has said the province is over-building and that power companies will be getting the green light to build power lines Albertans don’t need.

“When you take meetings behind closed doors where large infrastructure is discussed, the idea of doing that without all the checks and balances, without the questions being asked, without the experts under oath, then you’re inevitably going to come up with a solution that is biased towards those that wish to build these projects,” Holden said.

Smith said an investigation is crucial.

“It’s not often you have a company boss come forward with allegations like this,” she said, adding that if the premier is not comfortable with the ethics commissioner looking into it, any independent body would be fine.

“I think if it turns out there was some impropriety, the premier would do the right thing.”

Enmax has opposed Bill 50, saying it does not provide for enough public consultation and transparency.

Just Posted

Parenting: Every woman will have a different pregnancy experience

Wife whose hormones are unbalanced can be unpleasant experience

Men posing as repo men attempt to steal vehicle in Red Deer County

Two men attempted to steal a utility vehicle from a Red Deer… Continue reading

Red Deerian spreads kindness with one card at a time

One Red Deerian wants to combat bullying by spreading kindness in the… Continue reading

Bowden baby in need of surgery

“Help for Alexis” Go Fund Me account

PHOTO: First Rider bus safety in Red Deer

Central Alberta students learned bus safety in the Notre Dame High School… Continue reading

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Woman has finger ripped off at West Edmonton Mall waterslide

SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan woman says she lost a finger after her… Continue reading

Uncertainty looms over Canada’s cannabis tourism, but ambitions are high

TORONTO — Longtime marijuana advocate Neev Tapiero is ready for the cannabis-driven… Continue reading

Feds mulling safeguards to prevent ‘surge’ of cheap steel imports into Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government extended an olive branch of sorts to… Continue reading

Ontario govt caps off summer session by passing bill to cut Toronto council size

TORONTO — The Ontario government passed a controversial bill to slash the… Continue reading

Updated:Italian bridge collapse sends cars plunging, killing 26

MILAN — A 51-year-old highway bridge in the Italian port city of… Continue reading

Saudi Arabia spat affecting Canadians embarking on hajj, community members say

TORONTO — Members of Canada’s Muslim community say recent tensions between Ottawa… Continue reading

Tug carrying up to 22,000 litres of fuel capsizes in Fraser River off Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The smell of diesel filled the air as crews worked… Continue reading

Nebraska executes first inmate using fentanyl

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska carried out its first execution in more than… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month