September 21, 2016 12:26 pm
Updated: September 21, 2016 9:21 pm

Manitoba Hydro has ‘no choice’ but to move forward with BiPole III

WATCH: Global's Adrian Cheung looks into BiPole III after a review states there's no choice but to finish the project, regardless of the climbing costs.

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WINNIPEG — A review of the route chosen for the controversial multi-billion dollar Bipole III project has concluded it must proceed despite escalating costs.

“Rerouting the Bipole III transmission line down the west side of the province was obviously a wrong decision, one forced on Hydro by the previous government,” Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board Chair, Sanford Riley, said.

READ: Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister may relocate hydro lines

But that review, ordered by the newly elected conservative government in April, also concluded re-routing it down the east side of Lake Winnipeg “is no longer an option.”

Hydro board members speak to a review of the controversial Bipole III project.

Adrian Cheung/Global News

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An outside firm, Boston Consulting Group, worked with the board on the review.

The conservatives, while in opposition, have been against Bipole III coming down the west side of the province for years.

In a release Wednesday Riley confirmed $2.9 billion in funding has already been committed, or spent, to date and a total cancellation would cost $7 billion.

“The Board has been left with no choice but to move forward,” Riley said.

Former chair of the Public Utilities Board, Graham Lane, said it proves what those against the project have been saying for years.

“The long and short of it is the nightmare scenario is coming true,” Lane said.  “Rates will end up tripling and lower income customers of hydro will be thunderstruck.”

The project, is now expected to cost upwards of $5 billion.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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