Tuesday, March 18, 2008



VICTORIA – Following more than three years of extensive public consultations, two independent studies and input from federal and provincial health organizations, the Province has announced that construction of overhead lines for the Tsawwassen segment of the Vancouver Island Transmission Reinforcement (VITR) Project will move forward. This upgrade has been designed with the strictest health and safety measures and exceeds guidelines endorsed by the World Health Organization.

The VITR project will ensure a reliable supply of power for over 700,000 residents, social infrastructure and business services on Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands.

The three-year process included more than 40 presentations, briefings and public open houses, 1,600 requests for information responded to, validation from Health Canada and input from the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Fraser Valley Health Authority, Vancouver Island Health Authority and First Nations.

The project will remove a total of 58 poles. The current 78 wooden poles will be replaced with 20 new steel poles at 18 locations along the existing right-of-way that have been in place for 50 years.

Of the 18 pole locations on the right-of-way, nine are residential, three are owned by BC Hydro and six are non-residential or public spaces. The two lines that now flank each side of the right-of-way will be removed and replaced by a single set of poles.

Construction on this project will not start before June 1, 2008, which will allow for a full pre-construction notification and survey process and ensure that information is made available to all residents. Government is willing to consider the option of purchasing homes of affected homeowners on the right-of-way if they desire.

The government commissioned two independent studies to review the various proposals that had been brought forward by the British Columbia Transmission Corporation (BCTC) and a community organization. The independent studies confirmed the results of the BCTC cost estimates.

The decision to move forward with the overhead line construction is consistent with the British Columbia Utilities Commission and is scheduled to be in service by October 2008.


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