Thursday, August 23, 2007

Alberta Energy and Utilities Board spying scandal now an international incident

Did the EUB's use of private investigators to spy on opponants of a new power line include those from Montana?

A scandal that has plagued Alberta's energy regulator has become an international incident with the Montana government wanting to know whether its citizens were spied on by an arms-length agency of the Alberta government.
Ken Toole of Montana's Public Service Commission said Wednesday that while he doesn't have full information on the issue, what he has heard about the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board is troubling. "It is of great concern to me if any citizen group is being monitored by government agencies because they oppose a power line, or a power plant, or oil well, or whatever," he said.
James Roof, an environmentalist in Montana, said he can't believe investigators were keeping tabs on landowners opposed to a power line. "I think it's an outrage and I think it speaks very poorly for the state of democracy in Alberta," said Roof. "What I think needs to happen is that these government officials that organized this and set up this spying are held accountable."

Landowners in Alberta were in contact with Roof about his opposition to a separate line that would connect Alberta and Montana. The groups believe the two lines are part of a larger plan to export electricity from Canada to the United States. Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason said the Montana commissioner's interest is further proof that there is something wrong with Alberta's Energy and Utilities Board.

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