Fight against new Hydro towers in Dollard isn't over just yet

Opponents of a new Hydro power line running through the heart of Dollard-des-Ormeaux say the fight to have the aerial power line project built underground is not over.

Hydro-Quebec plans to have three kilometres of 315 kV lines built between its substation on Sources Blvd. and the one on St. John's Rd. (along the stretch of greenspace in the Hydro-Quebec photo shown above).

Along the way, it would cut right through a residential neighborhood alongside De Salaberry Blvd.

Critics, however, say the massive aerial towers are a blight on the residential landscape, and could contribute to a loss in property value. There are also concerns about potential health risks and the towers' potential environmental impact.

Back in February, the government rejected the idea of building the power lines underground, citing its cost.

Lynette Gilbeau with the group Build it Underground DDO says they're now looking at fighting the project in court.

"We are exploring and have started to work with lawyers," she says.

Gilbeau suggests potential savings associated with building the new towers would be offset by a potential loss in property values that could be suffered by homeowners who live in the neighborhood.

"When we are given cost differentials of $14 million for the aerial installation, versus cost estimates of a substantially higher amount for an underground installation...we still contend that the $14 million for an aerial installation is not truly reflective of the final cost of the project, particularly now that compensation is being discussed."

Earlier this week, the local MNA, finance minister Carlos Leitao, floated the idea of offering compensation to locals for loss of property value — a notion which Gilbeau says is pretty much a validation of their main argument against the power line.