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Finance Minister won’t take sides on controversial new Hydro-Quebec line

Click to play video 'Leitao offers no reassurance over Hydro lines' Leitao offers no reassurance over Hydro lines
WATCH ABOVE: West Island residents concerned about a massive new above ground Hydro power line aren't getting the reassurance they may have been looking for from Quebec's Finance Minister. As Global's Tim Sargeant reports, Carlos Leitao told people in his riding they will have to make their case at public hearings.

POINTE-CLAIRE – Finance Minister Carlos Leitao refuses to intervene in the case of Hydro-Quebec‘s plan to build a massive new transmission line through the West Island.

A number of residents in the Robert-Baldwin riding are opposed to the plan and said they want to see the line buried.

Leitao insisted that’s a decision to be made in the future and the plan’s opponents will have the chance to make their case at upcoming environmental hearings.

“In Quebec, these kind of decision are taken by independent organizations like the BAPE [environmental public hearings] and the Régie de l’énergie [Energy Board],” he told reporters on Monday.
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READ MORE: DDO residents fight Hydro-Quebec plan to build more transmission lines

Hydro-Quebec is arguing it needs to upgrade its decades old power station on Saint-Jean Boulevard and more than double its output capacity.

To do so, the public utility company wants to build a new, above-ground transmission line that would go almost three kilometres from Sources Boulevard to Saint-Jean Boulevard and would run parallel to one that already exists.

The new power line is supposed to help serve future energy needs in the West Island for decades to come.

The hearings are scheduled to begin in March.