For eight years, Graham Lane headed a watchdog commission that raised red flag after red flag about the Keeyask dam hydro project on Manitoba’s Nelson River.
Politicians ignored the warnings and in 2012 Lane resigned as chair of Manitoba’s Public Utilities Board, concerned that Manitoba Hydro had strayed far from its main purpose — to provide low cost energy to Manitobans.
Now the retired chartered accountant is speaking out in the hopes of stemming the losses from the Keeyask dam project and a related transmission line, which he calls “an albatross around the necks of Manitobans.”
“In Manitoba basically everything has gone wrong,” Lane told The Narwhal. “It’s quite a disaster.”
Even though the utilities board kept flagging “runaway expenses and changing markets” as reasons to reassess the projects, Lane said the provincial government “just kept going” while the price tag for the dam and transmission line soared from $9.8 billion to almost $14 billion, with the dam’s final cost potentially $2 billion more.
“I’d had enough. I hung up my skates. I waited my year away. And then I started writing columns about it.”....