The Manitoba Clean Environment Commission recently completed the Keeyask public hearings on January 9, 2014. The hearings first began on September 24, 2013 in Gillam, Manitoba. The hearings were held in Gillam, Bird, York Landing, Thompson, Split Lake, Cross Lake, and Winnipeg.
There were many presenters who spoke on behalf of registered participants, citizen groups, and the Keeyask Hydropower Limited Partnership. Chief Louisa Constant, Ted Bland, Martina Saunders, and Brad Regehr (York Factory legal counsel) spoke on behalf of YFFN, who is a co-proponent of the Keeyask Project.
The Chair and four members of the Keeyask Clean Environment Commission will now review the evidence and information presented to them before and during the hearings. These materials include presentations, written submissions, and questions asked and answered before and during the hearings. These materials are available online at www.cecmanitoba.ca/hearings/
The Clean Environment Commission will submit a report to the Minister of Conservation within 90 days of the completion of the hearings (beginning of April 2014). The report will provide recommendations to the Minister whether the Commission thinks the project should be granted a license, and if so, what conditions the license might contain. The report will be publically available.
On September 26th, the CEC Panel will visit York Landing and hold a community hearing at the George Saunders Memorial School starting at 1:00 pm.
All community members are welcome to attend and share their thoughts and concerns to the Panel. Speakers may want to share their personal knowledge, views and concerns about the proposed project to the Panel. Speakers are asked to limit their presentation to a maximum of 15 minutes. Presenters may get less time if there are many individuals who want to speak.
The hearings will be recorded and a written record (or transcript) of what is said each day will be posted on the CEC’s website as soon as possible after the community hearing.
Community members can also provide a written submission to the Panel if they cannot attend the community hearing or don’t feel comfortable speaking in public. Written submissions can be sent to the CEC Panel as a letter (Clean Environmental Commission, 305-155 Calton St., Winnipeg, MB, R3C 3H8) or an e-mail (email@example.com).
The Clean Environment Commission, or “CEC”, is an arms-length provincial government agency that provides opportunities for the Manitoba public to play a part in ensuring the protection of the environment. For more information, visit the CEC website.
The CEC will hold a series of public hearings from September 24th to November 28th, 2013 in Winnipeg, Thompson, York Landing, Gillam, Bird, and Split Lake to gather public opinion on the Keeyask Project (click here for the hearings schedule).
The CEC Panel will visit York Landing on September 26th and hold a community hearing at the George Saunders Memorial School starting at 1:00 pm. The CEC Panel wants to hear from community members about their thoughts and concerns about the Keeyask project. All community members are welcome to attend and speak to the Panel. To prepare for September 26th, YFFN held a community meeting on September 16th in York Landing.
As a Keeyask partner, YFFN will have witnesses participating in these public hearings as part of the Keeyask Partnership. They will speak on behalf of YFFN and the Partnership and answer questions from the CEC panel and registered participants. Within 90 days of finalizing the hearings, the CEC must provide a report to the Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship who will decide whether to license the Keeyask Project and what conditions to put in the license.
For more information about the CEC hearings and the Keeyask Project, read the most recent YFFD Newsletter distributed to community members in August 2013.
In March 2013, the Lower Nelson River Sturgeon Stewardship Committee was formed. This Committee will take care of sturgeon on the lower Nelson River from the Kelsey Generating Station to the Nelson River estuary.
Members of this Committee include: York Factory First Nation, Tataskweyak Cree Nation, War Lake First Nation, Fox Lake Cree Nation, Shamattawa First Nation, Manitoba Hydro, the Keeyask Hydropower Limited Partnership, and Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship.
Chief and Council have selected Darcy Wastesicoot as its voting representative and Stanley Spence as its alternate representative. These representatives attended the Committee’s first meeting in Thompson on May 23rd, 2013, and the second meeting in Winnipeg on August 1st, 2013.
You can contact Darcy Wastesicoot at YFFD (204-341-2236) or Stanley Spence for more information.
Based on feedback from members, Chief and Council and YFFD have started a program to engage younger community members to get their thoughts on the Conawapa Project.
Chief and Council and Future Development want to know what younger community members know about this project, what they want to know, and how they want to be engaged.
Evelyn Beardy and Darcy Saunders have distributed a pamphlet to younger community members in York Landing to start them thinking about the Conawapa Project.
York Factory has also been planning the 2nd Annual Keeyask Cree Nation Youth Gathering. This gathering is being planned for August 25th – 28th in York Landing.
You can phone Evelyn Beardy, Georgina Beardy, or Darcy Wastesicoot for more information at YFFD: 204-341-2236.
There will be a community workshop on Caribou Tuesday July 23 2013 from 2:00-6:00 at the George Saunders Memorial School Gym. Laura Hebert, a graduate student from the University of Manitoba will be coming to talk about her research project, and Future Development will talk about caribou in relation to the Conawapa and Keeyask projects. Please come if you have any knowledge or experience with caribou you would like to share. Everyone is welcome!
Chief and Council have held two community meetings over the past two months. Here is a summary of what was heard at the meetings:
- Community members want to be more involved in understanding the Project and giving feedback.
- Younger community members have been missed and need to be engaged.
- Some community members are opposed to Conawapa.
- Community members want Chief and Council and Future Development Team to take a stronger approach with Hydro.
- Some community members suggested that Chief and Council create a new team to work on Conawapa and talk to Hydro.
Chief and Council and YFFD are planning Conawapa meetings on June 5th and 6th in York Landing for community members.
With Manitoba Hydro, YFFD coordinated a field trip to the Keeyask Infrastructure Project site on September 20th, 2012.
As Project Manager, Manitoba Hydro gave several YFFD staff and one advisor a site tour of the Keeyask Infrastructure Project site. This group observed, learned about, and discussed the environmental impacts and measures used to reduce some the impacts at the site.
Future Development will be holding a community meeting on
Monday, September 17, 2012 at the
George Saunders Memorial School between
10:00 am – 4:00 pm in York Landing, MB
The purpose of the meeting is to update members on the Keeyask Environmental Activities, including monitoring, a KIP field trip, sturgeon stewardship, and the Keeyask EIS.
Lunch will be served with door prizes for those in attendance.
If you have any questions, please contact the Future Development Office at 204-341-2236.