Pallister’s Personality Politics Undermine the Honour of the Crown with the Manitoba Métis
April 25, 2019
Winnipeg, MB – Pallister’s Manitoba Hydro board debacle was back in the news after media sources revealed that Sandy Riley, former Manitoba Hydro board chair and once a top donor of the Progressive Conservatives, put his support behind the Liberal Party with the maximum allowable donation of $5,000.
Last year, all but one member of Manitoba Hydro’s board resigned en masse when Premier Pallister would not meet with them to address what Riley describes as “serious policy issues”. However, Premier Brian Pallister cited the cancelled Hydro agreement with the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) as cause for the unprecedented mass resignation.
“It is a sad day in the province when the Premier makes blatantly untrue comments,” said MMF President David Chartrand. “The facts are clear. Pallister would not meet with Hydro’s board to address policy and financial issues. These resignations are on the Premier. As a leader, he should be willing to step up and take responsibility for his decisions. Instead, he is attempting to hide his mistakes and blame the Métis People. He called our agreement with Manitoba Hydro ‘hush-money’ for a ‘special interest group’.”
In June 2018, the MMF filed a judicial review after the March 21, 2018, decision of the Pallister government to direct Manitoba Hydro to not proceed with a $67.5-million agreement that had been reached between MMF and Manitoba Hydro under the 2014 Turning the Page Agreement. On April 12, 2019, MMF was back in court to defend the rights, claims, and interests of the Manitoba Métis Community on Hydro’s Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project.
“Our agreement with Hydro was about the honour of the Crown, the honour of Hydro, and reconciliation to address the loss of access and land that the People of the Métis Nation have used for generations, long before the province even existed,” said Chartrand. “At $67.5 million for 50 years, this agreement amounts to $1.4 million per year. As the democratically elected self-government of the Manitoba Métis, the MMF represents over 100,000 Métis Citizens. This is $14 per year per person. Yet the Premier is attempting to mislead Manitobans. He should be ashamed of himself.
“He also said he would not interfere, but instead work with Crown corporations. We all know what happened with Hydro even though he had a handpicked board of some of the best business minds and leaders in the country,” continued Chartrand. “It is also unbelievable that Pallister would make these comments when we are in the middle of a court battle over the cancelled Hydro agreement. As President of the Manitoba Métis Government, I will continue to fight for the rights, claims, and interests of the Métis. I will stand up for the honour of the Crown as a fundamental principle of our province and I will continue to protect our Crown corporations. We are committed to building a better province for all Manitobans.”
For media information, please contact:
Manitoba Metis Federation
Office: 204-586-8474 x227