THUNDER BAY, ON, May 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, Métis Nation of Ontario
(MNO) Gary Lipinski testified before the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) in
the ongoing designation process to select a transmitter to develop the
East West Tie (EWT) Transmission Project in northern Ontario.
President Lipinski was joined by the Presidents of the Thunder Bay Métis
Council, the Superior North Shore Métis Council and the Greenstone
Métis Council - Jean Carmirand, Trent Desaulnier and William Gordon.
As well, Cam Burgess, the elected MNO Regional Councillor and Ken
Simard, the Captain of the Hunt, attended to show support.
The EWT project is a proposed double circuit transmission line that
would span from Thunder Bay to Wawa. This designation process is the
first-of-its-kind in Ontario and is undertaken pursuant to the OEB's
new mandate under the Green Energy and Economy Act. The project will cross the traditional territory of the Métis
community, and the MNO has obtained intervener status in the
MNO President Lipinski testified about the positive and collaborative
work that has been undertaken between the Ontario Government and the
MNO in order to advance the aboriginal partnership and participation
commitments in Ontario's Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) over the last
several years. President Lipinski urged the OEB to designate a
transmitter that would ensure Ontario's policy commitments made to all
aboriginal communities - First Nations and Métis - will be advanced.
"This Board cannot be passive or indifferent in relation to these
policies. It must embrace and fulfill its important role in the same
way the Minister of Energy, the Ontario Power Authority and the Ontario
Government has with respect to advancing aboriginal partnerships,"
President Lipinski added, "The Board must get it "right" in this
designation, by ensuring the commitments of the LTEP are fulfilled. If
not, a negative and dangerous precedent will be set. These policies,
if ignored, will become "empty promises" for the Métis as well as other
aboriginal communities. This will breed disillusionment, mistrust and
delays with respect to new transmission."
At the hearing, President Lipinski expressed concerns about some
prospective transmitters that completely excluded the potential of
Métis partnership. The MNO also highlighted the positive model put
forth by some proposed transmitters who have committed to set aside up
to 49% equity ownership for Aboriginal communities, inclusive, of both
First Nations and Métis.
President Lipinski concluded, "We need to recognize that no matter what
happens, First Nations, Métis communities and other communities need to
work together. We need this project and a designated transmitter that
brings us closer together - not further apart. For the Métis community,
we want this project to ultimately be a symbol of the results that come
from the respectful and collaborative Ontario Government policies that
have been developed to encourage aboriginal participation in the new
green energy economy."
A copy of President Lipinski's presentation is available at www.metisnation.org.
For more information on the EWT project and the designation process
SOURCE: METIS NATION OF ONTARIO
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