OTTAWA, June 14, 2019 /CNW/ - Canadians understand that for good projects to move ahead and grow our economy, we must protect our environment and respect the rights of Indigenous peoples. Clean, renewable energy is a key part of Canada's energy future, and the federal government is committed to supporting such projects. That is why the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today announced that the Governor in Council has approved Manitoba Hydro's $453 million Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project. This decision was made after reviewing:
- the National Energy Board's Reasons for Decision Report, which recommended the project be approved, subject to 28 conditions, and
- the Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report, which outlines the government's extensive consultations with Indigenous groups potentially impacted by the proposed project.
The government is committed to getting good projects built in the right way. This important clean power project will:
- create good, middle-class jobs for Canadians,
- enhance the competitiveness of Canada's electricity market,
- support a minimum of 20 percent of construction contracts that involve purchases from Indigenous suppliers, contracts with Indigenous subcontractors, and the employment and training of Indigenous peoples,
- strengthen our important relationship on energy with the United States by increasing Canada's electricity exports, and
- protect the environment by supporting growth in renewables and reduce GHG emissions by more than 3 million tonnes by displacing production from coal-fired generation and other sources of electricity.
Through its Crown consultations, the Government of Canada is committed to making sure Indigenous concerns and interests are understood, responded to in a meaningful way and, and where appropriate, accommodated. The Government of Canada is confident that it has fulfilled its duty to consult.
As part of today's announcement, the government has directed the NEB to amend five project conditions in order to respond to and accommodate concerns raised by Indigenous groups during the Crown consultation process. The modification of NEB conditions is responsive to the guidance provided by the Federal Court of Appeal decision on the Trans Mountain Expansion project.
The government also responded to three suggestions made by the NEB in its Reasons for Decision Report, including through the creation of a terrestrial and cultural studies initiative to support Indigenous-led studies on issues related to the project.
The government listened to and appreciates the concerns raised by Indigenous groups about the agreements withdrawn by the Government of Manitoba. As was done throughout the consultation process, the Government of Canada continues to encourage all parties to work together to resolve these issues. The federal government will continue to work in partnership with Indigenous groups to advance reconciliation, including through economic opportunities.
Approving good projects following thorough reviews is part of the government's plan to create good, middle class jobs, protect the environment, and advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
"Canadians understand that a clean, modern, and resilient electricity network helps fight climate change and transition to a lower carbon economy. The Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project achieves these goals while enhancing the competitiveness of our electricity market and creating good, middle class jobs."
Minister of Natural Resources
- The project will consist of the Dorsey Interprovincial Power Line (IPL) and modifications to two existing transmission lines. The Dorsey IPL is a 213 kilometer, 500 kilovolt power line that would extend from northwest of Winnipeg to the State of Minnesota, crossing the Canada-United States border near Piney, Manitoba.
- The Government's approval of Manitoba Hydro's $453 million project is subject to 64 Manitoba licence conditions and 28 National Energy Board (NEB) conditions to ensure the safe construction and operation of the project, environmental protections, and ongoing engagement with Indigenous groups.
- The NEB will now issue a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. Prior to construction, Manitoba Hydro will need to demonstrate to the NEB how it will meet the necessary pre-construction conditions for the project, including ongoing consultations with Indigenous communities.
Follow us on Twitter: @NRCan (http://twitter.com/nrcan)
SOURCE Natural Resources Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, 343-292-6100, NRCan.media_relations-media_relations.RNCan@canada.ca; Vanessa Adams, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Natural Resources, 343-543-7645, Vanessa.Adams@canada.ca