Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell will probe costly Manitoba Hydro projects

The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, October 18, 2018 12:17PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, October 18, 2018 12:22PM CST

WINNIPEG – The Manitoba government has hired former British Columbia premier Gordon Campbell to review two major hydro projects that have added billions of dollars to the provincial debt.

Campbell will look at whether the Keeyask Generating Station and Bipole Three transmission line — projects built under the former NDP government — were based on sound economics.

Among the issues Campbell will investigate is whether the projects were built long before domestic demand required them, and on overly optimistic projections of export prices.

The transmission line and generating station have run over budget, and export prices for electricity have dropped since the projects were given the go-ahead a decade ago.

To help cover the cost, Crown-owned Manitoba Hydro has been asking for regulatory approval for annual rate increases of 7.9 per cent.

 Premier Brian Pallister first announced plans for the review last spring, and it will have a budget of $2.5 million.