Manitoba premier says public will have say on future megaprojects

·1 min read

WINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says future megaprojects should be subject to public referendums.

Pallister says he will introduce legislation that would require a public vote before big-ticket items such as hydroelectric dams could be built.

He says the details have not been worked out, but the idea could also apply to non-energy projects such as new government-run casinos.

Pallister's comments follow a report last month on billions of dollars in cost overruns at Manitoba Hydro.

The report, by former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall, said poor oversight and overly optimistic sales forecasts led to the high costs at Crown-owned Manitoba Hydro.

The debtload at Manitoba Hydro has tripled in the last 20 years and the utility has asked for sharp rate increases to help shore up its finances.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 11, 2021

The Canadian Press