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Selinger: ‘Hydro Power is Manitoba’s Oil’

September 29, 2011 11:28 AM | News

Greg Selinger (CHRISD.CA FILE)

NDP leader Greg Selinger spoke to a business crowd Thursday morning, where he outlined the importance Manitoba Hydro plays to the province’s economy.

“Hydro power is Manitoba’s oil,” Selinger told the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. “The main economic question in this election is do we build Hydro or not? The differences between myself and Mr. McFadyen on this are clear as day.”

Selinger went on to outline Hydro’s contribution of $500 million to the economy each year through export sales, and noted it’s poised to invest as much as $15 billion in new dams and transmission lines.

Selinger again went on to criticize his main opponent, Progressive Conservative Party leader Hugh McFadyen, saying the PCs would be “reckless” with their plans for Bipole III, a controversial high-voltage Manitoba Hydro transmission line taking power to northern Manitoba via the west side of the province. McFadyen has continually said his government would reroute the line on the east side of Lake Winnipeg — making for a shorter, more cost-effective alternative.

“The Liberals want to put the Bipole under water,” Selinger added. “Different parties, different positions, but both would lead to the same sorry results: letting jobs and opportunities die on the vine.”

The Green Party has gone on record to say the project wouldn’t be necessary at all.