Manitoba Metis Urge Clean Environment Commission to Withhold Recommendation on Bipole III Transmission Project

March 11, 2013

MMF President Puts Province On Notice: Current Bipole III Plan Unacceptable To Métis

WINNIPEG - Today, following his return to Winnipeg after receiving the Supreme Court of Canada's landmark decision affirming the MMF's land claim last week, MMF President David Chartrand returned to testify before the Clean Environment Commission("CEC") on Manitoba Hydro's proposed 1,300 kilometer transmission line from Gillam to Winnipeg.

The transmission line - called Bipole III - will go down the west side of the province, cutting through the heart of what has been known as the "bread basket" for the Manitoba Métis for generations. This area south of Red Deer Lake to Riding Mountain Provincial Park has been used by the Métis for traditional hunting, fishing, gathering and cultural activities for generations. The proposed line will negatively impact Métis harvesting in the "bread basket" as well as cause irreparable damage to the Kettle Hills blueberry patch and other spiritual and cultural locations.

"Hydro has not meaningfully engaged the Métis. It also has not done a credible and thorough environmental assessment. Based on this, the CEC cannot in good conscience recommend this project be approved," said President Chartrand.

Chartrand added, "The Manitoba Government has also not properly consulted with the Métis. It has not assessed the project's impacts on Métis rights or accommodated those impacts. Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada stressed that the honour of the Crown is at stake on these issues. It's now time for the Crown to act honourably when it comes to Bipole III."

"Rest assured, that if the Crown and its agent (Manitoba Hydro) don't uphold the honour of the Crown soon, we will likely be back in the courts. The impacts of Bipole III on the environment and Métis rights are too much of a cost for the Métis community to bear. We will not be a mere casualty to the cost of Manitoba Hydro doing business," concluded President Chartrand.

Believe in Yourself; Believe in Metis.

The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is the official democratic and self-governing political representative for the Metis Nation's Manitoba Metis Community.

For more information, please contact:
John Vandale, Acting Director of Communications
Phone: (204) 586-8474
Cell: (204) 782-7004

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