Edmonton

Premier orders investigation into EUB spying accusations

Premier Ed Stelmach has instructed his energy minister to investigate accusations Alberta's Energy and Utilities Board hired private investigators to spy on landowners during hearings.

Premier Ed Stelmach has instructed his energy minister to investigate accusationsthat Alberta's Energy and Utilities Board hired private investigators to spy on landowners during hearings.

Theorder comes after thearm's-length energy regulatoradmitted tohiring "security personnel" to oversee central Alberta landownersopposed to a proposed 500-kilovolt power line between Calgary and Edmonton.

Energy MinisterMel Knight will find out who made thedecision and whyto ensurethe public's confidence in theboard isn't compromised, Stelmach said Tuesday.

The premiersaid he expects the results of the investigation to be made public soon.

Landowners living near theproposed site of the power lineare concerned about possible health effects and have complained that the board has already decided to approve it.

In April, board staff said they were physically threatened in three incidents at a public hearing into the project. Afterward, the board decided to accept only written submissions and close the courtroom in the central Alberta town of Rimbey.

Landowners were moved into a nearby recreation centre to watch the proceedings on TV.

Last month, board spokesman Davis Sheremata admitted the energy regulator had hired security officers to keep an eye on thelandowners watching the hearings inthe recreation centre.

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