The Manitoba Metis Federation

The Manitoba Metis Federation

March 03, 2014 11:13 ET

Manitoba Metis Federation Responds to 'New Major Export Power Sales' Provincial News Release

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - March 3, 2014) - Today in a news release the Manitoba Government announced two Wisconsin power agreements. Of the numerous misleading statements there are two the MMF feels are especially deceptive:

Firstly, the Premier stated "the details of the sales financial arrangements will be filed with the Public Utilities Board [PUB] as part of its review." However, what the Premier did not reveal is the detailed information required to fully and properly analyze a sale is not publically available at the PUB NFAT Hearing. Manitoba Hydro continues to file sales data for existing agreements as commercially sensitive information (CSI) which means it cannot be verified by the Interveners and other Manitobans.

"What are the numbers hiding behind the curtain?" asks MMF President David Chartrand. "We can't see the proposed sales figures because these are blacked out from all public documents. Is the government afraid to show that the costs for Hydro to produce this electricity is 10 cents per kilowatt hour while current and projected prices are approximately 4 cents per kilowatt hour," President Chartrand went on to say. "This would mean Manitobans subsidizing over half the sale price. This is not a profitable business plan. This and other critical information are being kept from Manitobans."

Secondly, Manitoba Hydro CEO Scott Thomson said that these export sales are "fundamental to our preferred development plan and that the sales agreement "validates our plan." Hydro's plans do not make business sense. Bipole III is not about reliability. Bipole III needed to bring the electricity south to the USA. It is about export power sales. Yet Bipole III's $3.3 billion cost is not included in the plan. The Government doesn't want to show the real costs of the plan.

Government is manipulating the approval process to get the results it wants. The MMF has uncovered the manipulation the two hearings (Clean Environment Commission (CEC) and PUB) so no one can get an accurate picture of the preferred development plan's costs and its impacts on Metis and all Manitobans. There has been no economic and financial analysis of Bipole III in either hearing. We are not blaming the hearing commissioners, but they have been blinded-folded by government. The government has designed terms of reference for both the CEC and NFAT hearings to keep critical facts off the table.

The Premier's announcement today makes it clear that Bipole III is not about reliability as they have kept telling Manitobans for years. It is to move Keeyask and Conawapa electricity south for export sales," said President Chartrand. "Now, with the sales agreements already in place, are they telling us this is a forgone conclusion that it will be approved no matter what? It is imperative that Manitobans know the truth and costs of these projects and the extent of Hydro's plans."

"Right now we have enough energy to ensure Manitobans are strongly protected for the future. Our lights will stay on from our previous investments including Bipole I and II," President Chartrand concluded. "We need to do this right. We need to understand and address all the costs. We would be subsidizing the Americans. It should and will be known as the Americans blacksale friday on the backs of our families and Manitobans children of today and yet to be born". Our children and our children's children will thank us.

Believe in Yourself; Believe in Metis.

The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is the official democratic and self-governing political representative for the Metis Nation's Manitoba Metis Community.

Contact Information

  • For all media requests or for more information,
    please contact: The Manitoba Metis Federation
    John Vandale, Acting Director of Communications
    (204) 586-8474 or Cell: (204) 782-7004
    john.vandale@mmf.mb.ca
    www.mmf.mb.ca