Manitoba Hydro successfully fought off an attempt by the Manitoba Metis Federation today to reopen the case for the Bipole III transmission line in a hearing on the need for the proposed Keeyask and Conawapa generating stations.
Hydro lawyer Patti Ramage argued to the five-member Public Utilities Board panel that the MMF had no business bringing up Bipole III because it wasn’t included in the Selinger government’s terms of reference for Hydro’s dam building plan.
Ramage also said the PUB had already issued a ruling on the matter and that it would be improper for the MMF to bring the topic up again.
Manitoba's Métis leader David Chartrand has said recent court rulings recognize that the Métis have a right to be consulted and compensated for the loss of their use of traditional lands on the proposed 1,300-kilometre route for Bipole III.
Manitoba Hydro says it needs Bipole III to increase the reliability of bringing power generated on Hydro’s network of northern dams to Winnipeg, but others argue it’s being built to supply more power to Hydro’s U.S. customers, including from Keeyask and Conawapa.
Hydro wants Bipole III in service in about three years and wants the first power from Keeyask to start flowing in 2019. Hydro has already told the PUB it doesn’t need a decision on Conawapa for about four years.