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Unexpected Announcement of the Hydro One Waasigan Transmission Project Line
Robert McKenzie

Unexpected Announcement of the Hydro One Waasigan Transmission Project Line

Leaves many across Northwestern Ontario in Shock

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~  January 22, 2023  (LSNews)  My family is one of those that found out the week of January 16th, 2023, that our homestead where currently three generations reside, is slated to be mowed over with the commencement of the Wassigan Transmission Line Project as early as 2024. My mother in her 70s felt mislead and lied to by the representatives of Hydro One. When we attended the Open House at the Oliver Recreational Centre, I was shown a line that went directly through our land most definitely impacting the water shed, the health of our well water, and the house made unliveable due to Electrical Magnetic Frequencies.

When I stated this to the Hydro One representative, I was told immediately that I could talk to the Hydro One Real Estate Representative. When my mother objected about land management issues, we were told at the WTLP Open House that environmental assessments had indeed been completed and we could talk to the surveyor who had seemed to have left the building. We were informed to get our grievance in immediately as this was moving ahead shortly possibly in February of 2023 onto the next step. These steps and deadlines of proper due course, the community has been kept in total darkness about which would appear do I daresay be by design. To say that this was deplorable care and treatment of a long-time landowner of this parcel of property along with all the inhabitants of the land, including plant and animal is an understatement. This was cruel, inhumane, lacking reason or care, along with I would argue an attempt of misleading theft of property without proper disclosure, or informed consent.

I visited neighbours on the Saturday just after the announcement and some had no idea that this project was happening. Some along side the current Hydro Power Line but within 500 meters were never approached at all. They had to their knowledge received no notice, no attempt to directly contact them, or a personal invite for participation. One would think good business practices for a project this large and impactful would not simply announce involvement in a corner of the Chronical Journal but would ensure with proper due diligence of lawful community involvement. One of our neighbours heard it on the radio and had no idea that her home would be directly in the path of the WTPL route. Her devastation cannot be expressed, especially because she had just happened to hear the announcement of the route on the radio. Another neighbour that I knocked on the door of responded with glassy eyes, ‘Hydro is taking my house.’ And I said, ‘they haven’t taken it yet.’

Waasigan Transmission Project Line

When I sent my formal grievance to Bruce Hopper the Project Manager of the Hydro One WTLP project. I was initially told I would be able to have an in-person meeting either on January 19th or early the following week. I wanted to see the Health Management Assessments as are suggested for this type of hydro electric project in Southern Ontario. I wanted to see the Ministry of Natural Resources Land Management Assessments, and I wanted to see the Environmental Assessments as pertained to our property. I also wanted Hopper to walk our land with us because I was under the assumption that perhaps somehow, they did not realize our well for drinking water was immediately below the slope that would be deforested and therefore, contaminate the water basin which ran into the spring fed pond and flowed out to three other properties.

Once my grievance was received by Hopper, I did not receive any contact back. It was not until I posted my concerns and grievance on the online article announcing the proposed WTLP line along with sending an invite to Hopper and for any Hydro One representative to our Information and Sharing Concerns meeting, at the Kaministiquia Community Centre on Hwy 102 on January 25, 2023, at 7 pm, that I finally received a response. The email stated that my grievance had in fact been read, that my family would be met with possibly at the end of February, and I could speak with community relations. It also included that the environmental assessments had not yet been completed and/or were still being compiled and there was yet time for the community to be involved in the spring of 2023.

So, which one is it? The environmental assessments like we were told at the WTLP Open House were completed and that is why my mother and I were directed to a real estate representative when I objected to the line and pointed out Hydro One would be leaving the property uninhabitable? Or they have not been done and Hydro One Networking Inc. and the Waasigan Transmission Line Project announced the route publicly without having any of the proper assessments completed or disclosed to the public?

My family is not leaving the land. We will not allow our neighbours that now extend all the way to Dryden to be bullied and blindsided by such a degree of what appears to be corporate misconduct. In Canada you DO have ‘the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the person and enjoyment of property, and the right not to be deprived thereof…’ as is enshrined in the Canadian Bill of Rights which was based on the British Bill of Rights and is alive and well in the land that we call Canada.

Michelle Hamer


#LSN_Econ  #LSN_Dryden #LSN_TBay  #LSN_NorWest

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