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November 4, 2013
Manitoba Metis Federation concerned about Keeyask generating station
The Manitoba Metis Federation says it will go to court if necessary to get Manitoba Hydro to treat it with respect.
The threat came on the first day of Clean Environment Commission hearings into the construction of the proposed Keeyask generating station.
Federation lawyer Jason Madden says Metis people are in the same boat that First Nations were in decades ago when their treaties “weren’t worth the paper they were written on.”
But he says once First Nations took their grievances to the courts, they eventually became Manitoba Hydro’s partners.
Madden said outside the hearing that the reality is Manitoba Hydro won’t respect the Metis until they’ve been sued.
Manitoba Hydro has partnered with four First Nations to build the proposed $6.2 billion facility. The Metis federation says its people should also be compensated for harm done to their way of life due to hydro development.
Other Aboriginal groups told the hearing recently that Manitoba Hydro should not receive a licence to build Keeyask until a separate study has been done on the impact so far of hydro development in the North.
“We are very concerned that nobody has looked at the regional cumulative effects on hydro development in Manitoba,” said Darwin Paupanakis, representing the Pimickamak people.
“How can the CEC know and assess the environmental impact from Keeyask without first understanding the environmental devastation that has already occurred?”
The Peguis First Nation and the Consumers Association of Canada made similar points to the commission.
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2013
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