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Residents upset about power line | Spare News

THUNDER BAY, ONT. — The newly formed Neighbors on the Line group and residents were shocked at the news that Hydro One plans to run its Waasigan transmission line project right through their homes and properties.

At a hastily assembled meeting Wednesday at the Kaministiquia community center, about 30 property owners listened as Neighbors on the Line organizer Michelle Rosetta Hamer outlined the issues faced by residents near and along the power line.

“I’m really upset to be having this conversation now, I find it quite emotional,” Rosetta Hamer said at Wednesday’s session. “. . . I want everyone to know this is not hopeless. That we are able to develop solutions that we can bring to the table. . . I’m so thankful everyone came out because it shows that we care about each other and we care about our elders, we care when four, five, six houses get cleaned out, it’s wrong. There are friends we play cards with, there are friends we visit that we know and we need to be able to stand up for each other and say it’s not okay.”

The new power line, which runs parallel to the existing power line, will be moved from the Shuniah community to Dryden.

Rosetta Hamer’s group consists primarily of a 20-kilometer area in Kaministiquia, but is receiving input from outside that community now that it will be affected by the route.

The Neighbors Speaking Group, which also included former attorney David Eyrou and Kaministiquia community members Jim Hyder and Ian Pizey, allege that residents and properties within a kilometer of the power line are at risk of potential water table contamination, exposure to Electrical radiation and loss of water will affect some homes.

Pizey, who learned about the power line plans last week, said the proposed route would go through his home, barn and pool.

Rosetta Hamer pointed out that in 2005 hydroelectric companies in the province were not allowed to upgrade an existing corridor or extend that corridor unless an environmental impact assessment was conducted.

In addition, Rosetta Hamer asked members of the audience who would be directly affected, who would be within a kilometer of this, who had been personally contacted by Hydro One, who had not been approached by Hydro One, who had received a Hydro One brochure and who had received a compensation package Received from the electricity company under the Acquisition Principles.

“There’s a little clause (in the package) that basically says, ‘If you don’t work with us, we’re going to have a long, drawn-out legal battle,'” claimed Rosetta Hamer, whose parents own a home within the proposed route.

Hydro One held community open houses in Thunder Bay, Atikokan and Dryden on January 16-18 regarding their tentative preferred route and said the new line will add 350 megawatts of power to the region.

Telephone calls and an e-mail to Bruce Hopper, Hydro One’s Project Manager, have gone unanswered as of press time.

For their part, the neighbors group held another meeting on Thursday to form a committee to learn how to raise their concerns with Hydro One, which initially included complaints from property owners along the route.

These submissions can currently be dropped off at the Canadian Post Office at the Kaministiquia Community Centre.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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