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Farmers miffed over Bipole III compensation

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Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister speaks with farmers at the Manitoba legislature Monday. They say they are victims of Manitoba Hydro's controversial Bipole III project. The groups are protesting Manitoba Hydro's refusal to sit down with landowners' duly appointed bargaining agents.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister speaks with farmers at the Manitoba legislature Monday. They say they are victims of Manitoba Hydro's controversial Bipole III project. The groups are protesting Manitoba Hydro's refusal to sit down with landowners' duly appointed bargaining agents. Photo Store

About 100 farmers demonstrated at Manitoba Hydro and the Manitoba Legislative Building today over compensation on the new Bipole III transmission line.

The farmers, represented by the Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations (CAEPLA) claim they’ve been stymied by Hydro on what they’ll be paid for the 1,384-kilometre line and its towers crossing their land.

The farmers, most from south of Winnipeg, also said they need written reassurance from the Crown corporation that they will have some say in the work surveyors and construction crews do on their land.

They say they are upset over Hydro surveyors going onto their land without a farmer-approved biosecurity protocol, risking diseases such as clubroot spreading to canola fields. 

Manitoba Hydro says it’s in the final stages of putting together a compensation package so all landowners, not just those represented by CAEPLA, are treated fairly.

CAEPLA is a not-for-profit farm-property advocate specializing in negotiations with the energy sector.

Farmers who belong to CAEPLA pay a $150 annual subscription fee. If and when Hydro settles with its members, CAEPLA will collect six per cent.

Work on Bipole III, to bring more electricity south from northern Manitoba, started several weeks ago.

A number of contracts for land clearing have been awarded and work has begun at the site of the Keewatinoow converter station.

Clearing for the Keewatinoow construction power line, collector lines, and along the Bipole III route between Thompson and the The Pas has also started.

More than 230 workers are engaged at this point

 

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