Brian Pallister to discuss economic review of Manitoba Hydro mega projects

Manitoba’s premier and the province’s Crown service minister are expected to discuss an economic review into a pair of Manitoba Hydro mega projects Monday.

Brian Pallister and Jeff Wharton have scheduled an 11 a.m. press conference. Global News will stream the event live here.

Read more: Report points finger at NDP interference as major factor in Manitoba Hydro cost overruns

The media availability will be the first time reporters will be able to ask questions of either politician after a review looking into the construction of Hydro’s Bipole III transmission line and Keeyask generating station was released Friday.

Click to play video 'Report points finger at NDP interference as major factor in Manitoba Hydro cost overruns' Report points finger at NDP interference as major factor in Manitoba Hydro cost overruns

Report points finger at NDP interference as major factor in Manitoba Hydro cost overruns

The review, completed by former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall, found the former NDP government was more focused on getting two big Manitoba Hydro projects completed and did little to prevent costs from spiralling.

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The projects ran a combined $3.7 billion, or 38 per cent, over their initial budgets.

Read more: Long-awaited Bipole III, Keeyask review to be released Friday, premier says

The report said there were many factors, including one major contract that left the province instead of the contractor on the hook for cost overruns.

And as costs rose, the former NDP government did not take action, said Wall, who was hired by the province’s current Progressive Conservative government to do the review.

The report also says Manitoba Hydro officials and the former NDP government overestimated the potential for export sales.

The current NDP Opposition said the report from Wall, a former Saskatchewan Party leader, was the work of a political operative.

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Keeyask and Bipole III were built over the last 15 years and Manitoba Hydro’s debt has tripled in that time to more than $23 billion.

— with files from The Canadian Press

Click to play video 'Manitoba Hydro has ‘no choice’ but to move forward with BiPole III' Manitoba Hydro has ‘no choice’ but to move forward with BiPole III

Manitoba Hydro has ‘no choice’ but to move forward with BiPole III – Sep 21, 2016

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