Alberta’s electrical transmission system is in dire need of upgrades, says Minister Mel Knight whose Tory government has introduced a bill yesterday that could make consumers pay the entire bill for such projects.

“Our current transmission system is not keeping pace with our economy,” said Knight. “The development of new lines is urgent and it is essential that the government implement these plans to advance upgrades.”

Alberta’s electrical transmission system hasn’t been upgraded in 20 years and Knight said that could lead to rolling power outages in the near future.

But the new legislation, Bill 50, would also make the government have more say on where the lines are built, but Knight stressed concerns from landowners will still be heard.

“Albertans expect the light to come on when they flick the switch,” said Knight.

“At some point, the infrastruct ure to get that electricity to Albertans has to be built and that means some Albertans will be directly affected by these projects.”