People get much less exposure to radiation when the towers are above ground! The magnitisim we speak of here cannot be insulated! It is the distance your bottom is from the wires that you should consider when you gauge relative safety.
The new up graders are a farce! The power line is needed for them to export their power! Alberta is trading royalty for up graders only because papers like the Sun made such a big deal out of them. We get .48 cents a barrel royalty on bitumen. All the profits from the up grader stay with the up grader the taxpayer pays for it all and the Conservatives brag because we get some taxes on profit; the Conservative dream machine.
Finally, if the new lines are designed for DC current, they can move up to 20% more electricity than the same AC line. That is 20% more in the pocket of producers (Edmonton) and the taxpayer picks up the bill.
Liepert reminds us Nuclear is still in the mix. He would be speaking of 1000 MW mini nuclear generators which will export to the US on those same lines.