Innisfail landowner wins right to appeal transmission tower

An Innisfail landowner trying to block the building of a transmission tower on his property will get his day in court this spring.

An Innisfail landowner trying to block the building of a transmission tower on his property will get his day in court this spring.

Kurt Kure is seeking a judicial review of a Right of Entry Order issued by the province’s Surface Rights Board. The order allows AltaLink to go ahead and position a tower on Kure’s land located just downstream of the Dickson Dam.

If allowed to go ahead, the tower will ruin a site he has picked out for a new home for his wife and 11 children, said Kure.

The engineering consultant is fighting the Right of Entry Order on the grounds the Surface Rights Board overstepped its jurisdiction because the 350-km transmission line being built to link power generators at Genessee, southwest of Edmonton, to Langdon, east of Calgary, will ultimately serve as an interprovincial and export line.

The Surface Rights Board only has authority over power lines for the province.

AltaLink, which will build and operate the $1.3-billion line, has repeatedly assured that the line is meant only to reinforce aging transmission infrastructure in a fast-growing province.

Kure’s lawyer, Donald Bur of Toronto, made his case before Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Kirk Sisson in a September hearing. Sisson decided there were grounds to take the case before a three-judge Court of Appeal panel.

The hearing is expected to take place in April or May, depending on the availability of representatives for the Surface Rights Board.

Judges are also expected to hear from a lawyer representing a Carstairs landowner with a similar complaint during the same hearing, said Kure.