Government welcomes questions, but gives no answers on power lines

In late April I received a brochure in the mail titled Message from your MLA. My MLA is Luke Ouellette, minister of Transport.

In late April I received a brochure in the mail titled Message from your MLA. My MLA is Luke Ouellette, minister of Transport.

In the brochure, Ouellette stated: “I welcome your calls and questions personally as I fully understand your concerns and government’s actions to protect your rights as landowners. We have worked very hard to protect your rights and to give Albertans the assurances they need to protect their property. I will continue to work hard to protect the rights of rural Albertans and my constituents in particular.”

So being a rural Albertan and a constituent, I wrote him a letter asking what I could do to recover my property that has been expropriated by the government, under Bill 24, the Carbon Capture and Storage Statutes Amendment Act.

I received zero compensation for this property and was denied any recourse to challenge the expropriation in court.

Through his office, I received confirmation that my message had been received on May 3, 2011, but have heard nothing since then about that “personal” answer mentioned in the brochure!

I would also like the opportunity to ask Ouellette to explain to me how he was able to say that the controversial power transmission lines were for Alberta consumption only and were not being built for export.

Last week, a WikiLeaks cable revealed that the Alberta government was indeed talking to the Americans about exporting power and Bill 50, the Electric Statutes Amendment Act, was nothing more than an end run around the people of Alberta.

That needs to be explained.

These “land bills” (19, 36, 50, 24) all have a common theme. It is about cabinet control, diminishing the property rights of Albertans through expropriation without compensation or due process of law, and keeping the public in the dark and giving them no say in the development of our resources.

There needs to be a discussion in Alberta about just how far a government can go in passing legislation that diminish and cancel our basic rights, without the approval of the people.

Doug Malsbury

Secretary, Alberta Surface Rights Group

Penhold

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