MMF Applauds Federal Agency Decision Requiring Pallister Government to Consult with the MMF
November 7, 2019
Winnipeg, MB – Today, the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is applauding a recent decision by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) on its review of the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels Project (the Project). The Agency has determined the Province of Manitoba is not conforming to guidelines set out by the federal government, including the direction to consult with the Manitoba Métis Community about impacts of the Project on Métis rights.
“This is just one more striking piece of mounting evidence, that the Pallister government DOES NOT adhere to a so-called gold standard of consultation,” said MMF President, David Chartrand. “It is imperative that this premier and all premiers follow the law. These laws have been implemented for a reason and failure to comply will only result in false blaming and failure to do the right thing.”
The Agency determined that the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submitted by Manitoba Infrastructure does not conform to the requirements of the May 15, 2018 Guidelines and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 for the Project. The Agency outlined 27 pages of comments and provided a specific document with advice to Manitoba, the majority of which was about the need to meaningfully consult with Indigenous groups about the Project. The Agency received advice on the lack of conformity on the EIS from federal authorities and Indigenous groups including the MMF.
“This a very dangerous game, that Pallister is playing with taxpayers’ money,” added President Chartrand. “The more he tries to circumvent the duty to consult with Indigenous people in this province, the more money he will cost all Manitobans in delays and cost overruns on this and other major infrastructure projects.”
The MMF applauds that the federal government recognizes the need to uphold its constitutional duties and obligations to the Métis for this Project. The Pallister Government made a commitment in its 2017 Throne Speech to establish a renewed Duty to Consult Framework and advance reconciliation with Indigenous communities. Two years later and there is still no progress on these commitments.
No one benefits when the province cuts corners on consultation. Unfortunately, this is what has happened again and again in Manitoba. The MMF is in court challenging Manitoba’s decisions and approvals regarding multiple projects for a failure to consult, including: Wanipigow Silica Sand Project and the Manitoba Minnesota Transmission Project.
Manitoba Infrastructure has been directed to now provide a revised EIS which includes proper consultation. Until such time as a revised EIS is completed—and accepted by the Agency—any federal environmental approvals for the Project have been put on hold.
“Like I have mentioned so many times before during the mandate of this premier, the ball is now in his court,” said President Chartrand. “He can do the right thing and finally stop playing games with the public purse. When he finally comes to his senses and learns to partner with the Metis and all Indigenous groups, it will be a great day for all Manitobans.”
Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.
The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is the official democratic and self-governing political representative for the Métis Nation’s Manitoba Métis Community. The Manitoba Métis are Canada’s Negotiating Partner in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.
For media information, please contact:
Director – Communications
Manitoba Metis Federation
Office: (204) 586-8474 x324
Cell: (204) 806-4752