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This article was published 1/6/2018 (906 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Manitoba Metis Federation will file documents in court Monday carrying out threats to try to overturn Premier Brian Pallister's orders to Manitoba Hydro to kill a $67.5-million land entitlement deal with the MMF.
"The MMF’s court action will seek to overturn the decision the Manitoba Government made on March 21, 2018 — following the unprecedented mass resignation of nine members of the Manitoba Hydro board of directors — that directed Manitoba Hydro 'to not proceed with the agreement with the Manitoba Métis Federation at this time,'" MMF president David Chartrand said in a prepared statement Friday.
The MMF said its claim argues the Manitoba government, the premier and Crown Services Minister Cliff Cullen "breached the honour of the Crown as well as other legal and constitutional duties owing to the MMF flowing from the 2014 Turning the Page Agreement signed by the MMF, the Manitoba government and Manitoba Hydro," Chartrand said.
"The court action will also seek a declaration from the court that the Premier of Manitoba’s personal actions of calling the MMF as nothing more than a 'special-interest group' and that its agreement with Manitoba Hydro represented 'persuasion money' breached the honour of the Crown."
MMF lawyer Jason Madden will walk reporters through the details and process of the legal action Monday morning.
Pallister's office did not respond to requests for comment Friday.
Cabinet ordered Hydro to kill the deal in March. Pallister and Cullen have said they believe the deal would deprive future generations of Métis people of their rights.
Pallister told the legislature the $67.5 million was hush money to buy off a special-interest group. Cullen has said the MMF does not speak for all Métis people. Pallister and Cullen believe it's a proposal, Chartrand believes it's a done deal.
"The MMF will defend its citizens, the Manitoba Métis community and our agreements with the Crown against the arrogance and ignorance of Premier Pallister," Chartrand said. "A Manitoba Premier who insults the Métis people — the proud founders of this great province — is a disgrace to us all.
"We are turning to the courts to uphold the honour of the Crown, since Premier Pallister’s actions fly in the face of the constitutional duties the Crown owes to all Indigenous peoples."
Chartrand contends the land-entitlement deal was negotiated as part of the reconciliation process. In 2014, the province gave Hydro and the MMF the green light to reach an agreement.
The federation had agreed to not oppose a planned $453-million Hydro transmission line that is supposed to be sending power to Minnesota by 2020.