Who’s really running the province?

Lethbridge Herald

By Letter to the Editor on April 11, 2015.

A recent Crowsnest Pass Herald article entitled “Council takes a firm stand against AltaLink” made me sit up and take special notice.

Particularly eye-opening were the comments attributed to AltaLink’s John Grove, who is reported to have told Crowsnest Pass municipal council “to refrain from sending a letter (to government officials) outlining É opposition to the project.”

The referenced project: AltaLink’s proposed $750-million Castle Rock Ridge to Chapel Rock transmission line.

Crowsnest Pass Mayor Blair Painter is reported to have said, “Grove suggested we not send the letter as it might jeopardize our relations with Edmonton.”

Reading the mayor’s statement, I have to believe AltaLink has revealed that all its community consultation, open houses, route-finding exercises, environmental assessments and other work is mere window dressing. It appears AltaLink believes it can do whatever it wants, and that the Government of Alberta will stand behind this outcome, regardless of the wishes of Albertans.

What, exactly, did AltaLink’s John Grove say and, perhaps more importantly, what message was he attempting to communicate?

The article raises many questions, such as: Does the Government of Alberta use its power to punish people who express concerns with industrial development?

Is AltaLink’s CEO Alberta’s de facto premier?

Do Premier Prentice and AltaLink’s CEO sit behind the same desk and to whom are we speaking when we address either?

If cash-strapped Albertans don’t want to pay $750-million for a transmission line many reviewers don’t feel is necessary, to whom do they address their concerns?

David McIntyre

Crowsnest Pass