Manitoba Métis Federation’s appeal goes forward

It’s in the news — the Winnipeg Sun:

Hydro’s transmission line project heads back to court

And here’s the Metis’ press release, and the court orders:

Federal Court of Appeal Agrees to Hear MMF Appeal Challenging Minnesota-Manitoba Transmission Line License

Winnipeg, MB – The Federal Court of Appeal has granted the Manitoba Metis Federation’s (“MMF”) request to appeal the Canada Energy Regulator’s recent decision that concluded Manitoba Hydro was not required to uphold the Government of Canada’s (“Canada”) accommodation of Indigenous rights and interests included in federal license for the Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project (the “MMTP”). 

“We are pleased that the Federal Court of Appeal has agreed to hear this important appeal. The license for the MMTP included commitments to all Indigenous peoples, including the Manitoba Métis community specifically. We are optimistic that the courts will not continue to allow Manitoba Hydro to ignore those obligations or the Canada Energy Regulator to turn a blind eye to the accommodations the federal Crown made,” said MMF President David Chartrand.

The MMTP is a new 213-km power line stretching from near Rosser to the Manitoba-United States border near Piney, where it connects with the Great Northern Transmission Line in Minnesota. The MMTP cuts through the heart of the Métis Nation Homeland, where the Métis – as a distinct Indigenous people – emerged and call their home today. The MMTP significantly impacts the constitutional rights of the Manitoba Métis Community.

As an international power line, Manitoba Hydro was required to get regulatory approval for the MMTP from Canada to construct and operate it. Prior to approving the MMTP, Canada engaged in Crown consultations with MMF and other Indigenous groups who stand to be adversely impacted by the Project. Following that process, Canada modified the Canada Energy Regulator’s proposed conditions for Manitoba Hydro’s license to address Métis rights, interests, and concerns. 

In August 2020, the Canada Energy Regulator made a decision that effectively rendered Canada’s changes to the MMTP’s license meaningless in relation to protecting Métis rights and interests as well as the rights and interests of other Indigenous peoples. In effect, the Canada Energy Regulator concluded that Manitoba Hydro only has to do what it wants to do, not what Canada promised to Indigenous peoples flowing from Crown consultation.

President Chartrand added, “This case is about ensuring that accommodation measures put in place by the Crown cannot be cast aside by the Canada Energy Regulator who is charged with enforcing them. The Crown has a duty to consult and accommodate Aboriginal peoples. When accommodations are made to us to secure our support for resource development projects, they must be honoured.” 

A copy of the MMF’s leave to appeal application, as well as the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision, is available below.

Documents:

Memorandum of Fact and Law (12 October 2020)Download – Document

20-A-35 – Order of Appeal – Download

Here’s the Canadian site for this project:

Manitoba Hydro – Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project

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