December 12, 2018

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MMF, province agree to terms for court fight

The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) and the province have agreed to a process in the lawsuit against the government for killing a $67.5-million land entitlement deal between Manitoba Hydro and the MMF.

The two sides have given consent to what’s called case management, whereby they establish and exchange key arguments and evidence they plan to bring forward.

That will include a mutually determined schedule for filing affidavits and cross-examining witnesses.

The MMF said it hopes the case can then be heard in the fall, when Manitoba courts resume from summer break.

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The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) and the province have agreed to a process in the lawsuit against the government for killing a $67.5-million land entitlement deal between Manitoba Hydro and the MMF.

The two sides have given consent to what’s called case management, whereby they establish and exchange key arguments and evidence they plan to bring forward.

That will include a mutually determined schedule for filing affidavits and cross-examining witnesses.

The MMF said it hopes the case can then be heard in the fall, when Manitoba courts resume from summer break.

It’s imperative the case is heard as soon as possible, because it could affect whether the proposed Manitoba-Minnesota transmission power line is built in a timely manner, MMF president David Chartrand said in a prepared statement.

The MMF questions "whether Manitoba Hydro is still a separate Crown corporation with independence, or is it now fully run and directly controlled by (Premier Brian) Pallister pulling the strings in its negotiations," Chartrand said.

The MMF filed its application June 4 for a judicial review against the province for its March 21 decision that Manitoba Hydro not proceed with an agreement negotiated with the Métis group.

The MMF seeks to have the province’s decision overturned by the courts, claiming it breaches the honour of the Crown, the Crown Corporation Governance and Accountability Act and the processes set out in the 2014 MMF-Manitoba Hydro "Turning the Page" agreement.

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