With the introduction of Bill 8, the Electric Utilities Amendment Act, 2012, in the
Alberta legislature, the story of Critical Transmission
Infrastructure (CTI) in the province is about to come full
The Stelmach government introduced the concept of CTI in
2009. Bill 50, the Electric Statutes Amendment Act, 2009,
provided that cabinet would have the right to designate certain
transmission infrastructure as CTI. For facilities designated
as CTI, there would be no Alberta Utilities Commission review of
the need for the facility, as is otherwise mandatory for new
Designation of facilities as "critical" proved to be
controversial. Upon her election in October, 2011, Premier
stopped hearings into the Western Alberta Transmission Line and
the Eastern Alberta Transmission Line, and appointed an expert
panel to review the need for those two facilities.
The expert panel reported back in February, 2012, and
recommended that the two facilities proceed. It also
recommended that the Electric Utilities Act should be amended to
grant the Alberta Utilities Commission (not cabinet) the authority
to designate CTI.
The proposed Bill 8 would effectively remove the concept of CTI
from the Electric Utilities Act. The provisions of the Act
which grant cabinet the right to designate projects will be
entirely removed, meaning that (short of amending the Act) there
will be no way to designate new projects as CTI. All
new transmission projects will be subject to a needs review by the
Existing projects already designated in the Schedule to the Act
( the Western Alberta Transmission Line, the Eastern Alberta
Transmission Line, the Heartland Transmission Line near Edmonton,
and reinforcements between Edmonton and Fort McMurray) will remain
designated as CTI and will not be affected by the amendments.
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Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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