Taxpayers should own the infrastructure

The controversy regarding the installation of new electrical infrastructure should examine the facts as they exist. Electrical transmission infrastructure is a critical, strategic infrastructure upon which all Albertan public, residential, commercial, and industrial activity depends.

Dear editor,

The controversy regarding the installation of new electrical infrastructure should examine the facts as they exist. Electrical transmission infrastructure is a critical, strategic infrastructure upon which all Albertan public, residential, commercial, and industrial activity depends. It is an oligopoly with 8.5% regulated profits, based on equity, and which requires the legislative hammer of Bill 50 to appropriate the land and approve the construction. To allow $8 billion dollars of new equity, to be provided by ratepayers, is simply an equity boost subsidy to AltaLink (SNC Lavilin and MacQuarie Transmission) which will result in increased private profit.

I propose that the new transmissin facilities (lines and stations) be owned by the Albertans (who will pay for them) financed by the provincial government (who get a reduced finance rate as compared to private enterprise) with the engineering, construction and management being tendered to private firms at a regulated rate. The end result is similar to the current situation except that the hard asset equity (lines and stations payed for by the increase in transmission rates) would remain with Albertans.

This would entice competition for the maintenance and management contracts which could be tendered periodically.

The ownership of the hard assets should remain with Albertans, and be managed to the benefit of Albertans.

Don McGregor

Edmonton