The Canadian Taxpayers Federation and the coalition opposing Manitoba Hydro's plans to spend billions in energy projects are calling for an independent, non-partisan review of the utility's plans.

Given the province's $30-billion debt, the plan to spend $34 billion is too risky, they say.

Those plans include the controversial $4-billion Bipole III high-voltage transmission line.

The group has sent a letter to Premier Greg Selinger, which includes statements from a number of prominent Manitobans like former Premiers Gary Filmon (Progressive Conservative) and Ed Schreyer (NDP), calling for a review.

"When I talk to former engineers and retired Manitoba Hydro executives, it’s clear there’s a lot of concern for what could happen to peoples’ hydro bills,” said Garland Laliberte, a retired dean of engineering at the University of Manitoba and vice president of the coalition.

“This is not the type of decision to rush. There needs to be a truly independent and non-partisan review, not what the government is proposing.”

The group has also launched a website, riskyhydroplan.ca.

Letter to Premier Greg Selinger