Winnipeg Free Press

When I first heard rumours the Bipole III west side route would continue, as if we hadn’t changed governments, I was in disbelief. The Progressive Conservative party had been as opposed to this as the rest of us. They were going to stop this and return it to the original route, on the east side of the province, where there are very few homes and farms affected; where the enormous towers would be mostly hidden by the forests; where the wildlife in the area could graze and live a few miles away. The PC government cared about Manitobans and would keep their word, or so I thought.

I actually like to believe people mean what they say. You can imagine my shock when I found out the rumours were true. "The project is too far along to change it" is not an acceptable answer. You cannot continue with a wrong, it has to be made right, or you are as guilty as the ones who started the wrong in the first place. It has been established that Bipole III is not even needed at this time, or in the near future, so the answer is simple: the project has to be stopped. Problem solved.

Yes, I do have a personal interest in this. This Bipole line, the 45-metre tall towers with massive voltages travelling through its thick wires, would be built beside my home. My home is being threatened. It doesn’t take a genius to know this line is hazardous to one’s health. The stray voltage is strong enough to light up a lightbulb on the ground. You’ll get an electric shock by touching a metal gate a few miles away. People and cattle will be constantly exposed to this stray voltage. The lines are noisy and ugly, and the treatment of the farmers affected has been appalling.

If you think, "I’m glad I don’t have to live near this Bipole line," consider your neighbours who will be forced to do so. Think of their livestock and pets and how it will affect these animals to live under constant stray voltage exposure. Be assured they will be negatively affected. Studies have shown milk production will dwindle, that should go over well with dairy farmers. Modern tractors operate with GPS, and guess what? GPS doesn’t work properly near these lines. Forget spraying fields by plane, as it is illegal to fly under the Bipole lines. Think of the geese and many other birds that travel through our area in spring and fall, this being part of the Mississippi flyway. We have thousands of geese around our place each year. The thought of them flying into the towers or wires sickens me.

If these things don’t bother you, know that the horrendous price tag of many billions will come to haunt you through multiple hydro bill increases. It is simply a lose-lose situation for our province. This project has gone too far already. We don’t need it and we certainly don’t want it. We need to speak up and speak out to stop this.