Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Referendum on hydro line: native chiefs

Doer says voters have spoken

  • Print
AN organization that represents more than half of Manitoba's aboriginal people wants the provincial government to hold a referendum on its recent decision to run a major hydroelectric transmission line west of Lake Winnipeg.

But Premier Gary Doer quickly dismissed the idea.

Leaders of the Manitoba Keewatinook Ininew Okimowin (MKO) said Wednesday that such a referendum would show overwhelming support among members of 11 First Nations living east of Lake Winnipeg for a transmission line and related infrastructure to be built across their territory instead of through western Manitoba, as the government decided in September.

MKO Grand Chief Sydney Garrioch and two chiefs of First Nations represented by the MKO expressed disappointment in the government and Rupertsland MLA Eric Robinson, whose riding covers much of the province's north.

Garrioch, Wasagamack First Nation Chief Ron Harper and St. Theresa Point First Nation Chief Robert Flett said the government had not consulted their members and had made a mistake that would jeopardize the future of young people living on northeast Manitoba reserves.

"The Manitoba government has robbed our children of their future, of wanting to be a sustainable and self-sustaining people," Flett said at a news conference. "In the eyes of the government, I feel that we are people that can be just trampled on. But we have a voice, too."

The MKO represents about 56,000 aboriginal people living on 30 First Nations in the northern half of the province.

Garrioch said a referendum on the route of a proposed transmission line could be organized within three months and poll members of 11 MKO-represented First Nations east of Lake Winnipeg. Questioned by reporters, Garrioch said a referendum could be extended to include other First Nations as well.

"We are saying (to the government), go to these communities," Garrioch said. "Let them determine (the path of the transmission line) by referendum."

Doer, however, said there won't be a referendum, adding there were 80 different meetings with east side residents where the issue was discussed.

"We've had four years of meetings," he said.

People already voted on the issue, the premier said, because it was a New Democratic Party election promise during last spring's campaign. It was one of the only black-and-white issues separating the NDP and the Tories in the campaign.

At the time, Doer promised legislation to protect the east side of Lake Winnipeg from a hydro line.

By comparison, Tory Leader Hugh McFadyen pledged to build the line on the east side.

joe.paraskevas@freepress.mb.ca

mia.rabson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 1, 2007 $sourceSection$sourcePage

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

It’s the End Of the Term And They Know It, Part Two

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Young goslings are growing up quickly near Cresent Lake in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba- See Bryksa 30 Day goose project- Day 11- May 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060711 Chris Pedersen breeds Monarch butterflies in his back yard in East Selkirk watching as it transforms from the Larva or caterpillar through the Chrysalis stage to an adult Monarch. Here an adult Monarch within an hour of it emerging from the Chrysalis which can be seen underneath it.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you get out and vote for a new mayor and council?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google