Thousands protest power line plan

EDMONTON — Thousands of people gathered at Rexall Place in Edmonton to protest a proposal to erect massive power lines at the edges of the city.

EDMONTON — Thousands of people gathered at Rexall Place in Edmonton to protest a proposal to erect massive power lines at the edges of the city.

A crowd of around 3,500 — mostly residents near the planned east-west route — heard a panel of speakers warn that the above-ground lines could negatively impact residents’ health and force home values to plummet.

The speakers on Tuesday night included an environmental studies professor and a property appraiser.

Bruce Johnson, of Responsible Electricity Transmission for Alberta, the group that held the event, said the Stelmach government must listen with this many voices against the proposal.

Others at the meeting were also hopeful that if they make enough noise, they can force the government to bury the lines underground, significantly reducing risks.

The Heartland Transmission Project could see high-voltage lines up to 60 metres high being built near homes.

RETA supporters say if a tornado or storm were to topple the line, it would be disastrous.

Epcor, however, says it could be as high as $10, a number that prompted energy minister Mel Knight to say he’s reluctant to support burying the lines.

The Alberta Utilities Commission will decide whether the lines should be buried after the public hearings.

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