Manitoba Hydro was scrambling last October to recover top secret information concerning northern hydroelectric dam and transmission projects that had got into the wrong hands.
The Crown corporation wrote to at least one First Nation on Oct. 18 seeking the return of the sensitive information as well as any copies that may have been made. It also sought a list of persons who may have received the information.
A copy of the letter sent by Hydro to an official with Tataskweyak Cree Nation was obtained by the Manitoba Progressive Conservatives, who questioned Dave Chomiak, the minister responsible for Hydro, about it this afternoon in the legislature.
Chomiak seemed surprised by the existence of the letter. He did not meet with reporters immediately after Question Period. A political aide said he was in his office being briefed on the matter.
According to the letter, purportedly sent by Shawna Pachal, the corporation’s power projects development division manager, a "highly sensitive internal document" had gone missing. The document concerns the Wuskwatim dam and the proposed, Keeyask and Conawapa dams and BiPole III transmission line.
The letter demands that the document be returned to Hydro by Oct. 30, 2012.
"The potential impacts of the unauthorized release of this information are ultimately detrimental to both Manitoba Hydro and its First Nation Partners in proceeding with the above projects," the letter states.
The wording of the letter suggests that it was also sent to other First Nations.
The Conservatives, who received a copy of the letter in a ‘brown envelope,’ said they were concerned about what might have been contained in the missing Manitoba Hydro documents.
"What has Manitoba Hydro got to hide, if the release of these documents could harm three dam projects and a BiPole line," demanded Tory Hydro critic Ron Schuler. "Did these documents get returned? What was in those documents?"