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Metis Federation to hold public meetings on Bipole III line

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The Manitoba Metis Federation will conduct a series of town-hall meetings to gauge just how deep opposition is to Manitoba Hydro’s plans for the Bipole III transmission line and the proposed Keeyask generating station on the Nelson River.

MMF President David Chartrand said in a statement today Bipole III cuts a swath through Metis traditional lands including the area in western Manitoba known as the "Métis Breadbasket." Keeyask and its related transmission line and roads impact Metis hunting, harvesting and cultural activities.

Chartrand said the tour is needed to chart a path for what action the MMF takes next.

He said to date Hydro Minister Stan Struthers and Hydro President Scott Thomson have failed to recognize Métis rights.

"At no time have the Métis reached an agreement or given free, prior and informed consent to these projects," Chartrand said in a statement. "This will further reinforce to Manitoba Hydro that failure to respect Métis rights and interests or to otherwise exclude Métis participation has negative consequences from a legal, social, ethical and political perspective."

"Let me be clear the MMF is pro-growth, pro-development and we are open to partnerships, but not at the expense of Métis Rights."

The MMF says there are about 120,000 Métis people currently living in Manitoba with over 60,000 MMF adult voting members.

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