Manitoba government Crown Services Minister Colleen Mayer has announced the appointment of Gordon Campbell to conduct an economic review of the development of two major Manitoba Hydro projects.

“Mr. Campbell has been appointed pursuant to The Manitoba Evidence Act to review the planning and decision-making processes relating to the Keeyask Generation Project and Bipole III Transmission and Converter Stations Project,” Mayer said. “In particular, he will review actions taken prior to and during the construction of those projects. We have asked Mr. Campbell to make recommendations to ensure future projects are developed and managed in the best interests of all Manitobans.”

Both the $5.04-billion Bipole III Transmission Line project and the $8.7-billion Keeyask Hydroelectric Project have been subject to cost increases since the original budgets were both set. The Bipole III project was budgeted to cost $3.28 billion, while the Keeyask project was expected to be completed for $5.6 billion.

Campbell is the chief executive officer of Hawksmuir International Partners. He was premier of British Columbia from 2001 to 2011, and served as Canada’s high commissioner to Great Britain from 2011 to 2016.

The review has a budget of $2.5 million and will begin immediately, the minister said. It will build on work previously conducted by the Public Utilities Board and Manitoba Hydro.  Campbell will deliver his final report by no later than Dec. 31, 2019, the minister noted.

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