Clean Environment Commission (CEC) proceedings for Bipole III started May 2012. Hearings are expected to start before the end of 2012, with a final report issued in 2013.
Manitoba Wildlands is providing information about the Bipole III proceedings, as there is no other online access to much of the information below.
As of August 30, 2012 two pre-hearings conferences, a motions hearing, and two rounds of hundreds of information requests have been sent to Manitoba Hydro, with partial responses received.
Another motions hearing scheduled for August 30, 2012 was cancelled despite at least one notice of motion being filed.
The chair of the CEC sent a letter asking the Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship for clarification on the CEC December 5, 2011 terms of reference for Bipole III CEC proceedings and hearings "in regard to the review of the "need for and alternatives to" the project (NFAAT). A response from the Minister, dated August 23, 2012, was circulated to participants on August 30, 2012. The letter from the Minister indicated that NFAAT was outside of the terms of reference.
Numerous pieces of additional EIS information have been filed since May, and continue to be filed. Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship (MCWS) Environmental Approvals Branch (EAB) and Environment Act technical advisory committee (TAC) members continue to review the EIS, supplemental materials, and responses to information requests.
On August 30, 2012 The CEC released decisions on two motions from the Consumers' Association of Canada (CAC) and the Bipole III Coalition heard August 16, 2011. Both parties' requests for an adjournment were dismissed. A third motion by Peguis First Nation, also heard on August 16, 2012 has not been decided.
A joint prehearing conference and motions hearing is scheduled for September 11, 2012. The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) will be the only party making a motion on September 11, 2012.
Six-weeks of hearings are scheduled to start October 1, 2012. Hearing will be held in the following locations: Winnipeg, Gillam, Thompson, The Pas, Dauphin, and Niverville.
Click on the links below for more information on the:
Pre-hearing conferences deal with procedural aspects of the hearing. Two pre-hearing conferences have been held May 10, 2012 and July 19, 2012. A third prehearing conference is scheduled for September 11, 2012.
View May 10, 2012 Prehearing Transcript (PDF)
View May 10, 2012 Prehearing Summary (PDF)
View July 19, 2012 Prehearing Transcript (PDF)
View July 19, 2012 Prehearing Summary (PDF)
The CEC also asked participants at the May prehearing conference to identify EIS deficiencies and forward them to the CEC. The original deadline to submit EIS deficiencies was May 31, 2012, but this deadline was twice extended until June 15, 2012 and again until July 20, 2012.
Manitoba Wildlands was among the participants that identified deficiencies in the EIS and supporting materials.
View June 4, 2012 Manitoba Wildlands Bipole III Environmental Impact Statement Deficiencies for Clean Environment Commission Proceedings
Information Requests and Responses
Information Requests and Responses (IRs) allow participants to ask Manitoba Hydro, and sometimes other participants, questions. The first round of information requests began right after the May prehearing conference. During the first round participants submitted questions to the CEC for vetting before they were forwarded to Manitoba Hydro. The initial deadline for participants to file information requests was June 15, 2012, but this was extended until July 20, 2012. The CEC soon began to pass IRs onto Manitoba Hydro automatically.
View Manitoba Wildlands July 20, 2012 First Round Information Requests (PDF)
Manitoba Hydro was to have responded to all IRs by July 31, 2012, but responses to first round IRs arrived as late as August 22, 2012. It is unclear if there are first round IRs that still need to be answered as the CEC has not established a process for tracking the information requests as outlined in the CEC Process Guidelines Respecting Public Hearings (p. 33).
View Clean Environment Commission (CEC) Process Guidelines Respecting Public Hearings (PDF)
Manitoba Hydro has so far provided six packages of IR responses, received on the following 2012 dates: June 18 (62 pages), July 12 (154 pages), July 18 (166 pages), July 31 (207 pages with 246 pages of attachments), August 15 (300 pages), and August 22 (162 pages).
Manitoba Hydro Information Response Packages (PDF):
The CEC chair warned Manitoba Hydro at the July 19, 2012 prehearing conference that not responding to first round information requests by July 31, would jeopardize the October 1, 2012 start of hearings. Yet despite many first round IR responses being two to three weeks late, the hearing date has not moved back.
At the prehearing conference on July 19, 2012 a second round of IRs was announced. The original deadline for participants to submit second round IRs was August 17, 2012. The August 17, 2012 deadline was extended to August 24, 2012 at the August 16, 2012 motions hearings because of the late and continuing IR responses.
The CEC chairman also made ad-hoc changes to IR procedures at the end of the August 16, 2012 motions hearing. The second round information requests would not be vetted by the CEC. Any dispute over a non-answered IR is to be dealt with by way of Motion.
Changes in the IR process were not provided when the second round of IRs was announced at the July 19, 2012 prehearing conference.
On August 24, 2012 participants, including Manitoba Wildlands, submitted second round information requests to Manitoba Hydro.
View Manitoba Wildlands August 24, 2012 Second Round Information Requests (PDF)
As of August 30, 2012 none of the second round IRs has been responded to.
Additional Bipole III EIS Information
Over 1000 pages in technical reports referenced in the EIS, and requested by participants, but not initially provided was given to participants at the July 19, 2012 prehearing conference.
On August 1, 2012 Manitoba Hydro filed 130 pages of additional EIS information, including supplemental socio-economic information, correction of errors in the EIS, including stream crossing information and maps missing from original November 2011 EIS.
View August 1, 2012 Manitoba Hydro Additional Bipole III Information
On August 8, 2012 Manitoba Hydro filed a 153-page Supplementary Caribou Technical Report, which included data collected over the spring, summer, and fall of 2011.
View August 8, 2012 Manitoba Hydro/Joro Consultants Supplementary Caribou Technical Report (PDF)
Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship (MCWS) Environmental Approvals Branch (EAB) and Environment Act technical advisory committee (TAC) members continue to review the EIS, supplemental materials, and responses to information requests. MCWS requested additional supplemental information from Manitoba Hydro on May 10, 2012 (updated May 17, 2012), August 7, 2012, and August 29, 2012.
View Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship (MCWS) Environmental Approvals Branch (EAB) online files for Environment Act Public Registry file #5433.00 Bipole III Transmission Project
View MCWS EAB Request for Additional Information dated May 17, 2012 (PDF)
View MCWS EAB Request for Additional Information dated Aug 8, 2012 (PDF)
View MCWS EAB Request for Additional Information dated Aug 29, 2012
Hydro has so far only responded to the May 17, 2012 request for further information from Manitoba Conservation.
View Manitoba Response to MCWS EAB Request for Additional Information dated Hydro June 22, 2012.
Technical advisory committee (TAC) has also provided comments on some of the supplemental information.
View August 17, 2012 TAC comments on July 31, 2012 Environmental Impact Statement – Supplemental Material
View August 29, 2012 TAC comments on August 8, 2012 "Bipole III Transmission Project Supplemental Caribou Technical Report
Motions are requests before the CEC panel for a particular remedy in regards to CEC hearing (eg. motion to adjourn hearings, a motion to compel a proponent to provide a response to a particular IR, motions for the CEC to clarify issues about the CEC proceedings, etc.)
Three motions were heard on August 16, 2012:
- The Bipole III Coalition (a citizen's group that includes engineers, landowners, aerial applicators, retired Hydro executives and employees who are opposed to building Bipole III transmission on the west side of Manitoba) argued that an adjournment was in order as there is too much information and too little time for a proper review of the proposed Bipole III transmission-line project materials. They also argued the option of reconfiguring the Dorsey Converter Station to bring more stability to Hydro's transmission system needs further consideration.
- The Consumers Association of Manitoba (CAC) also argues an adjournment is in order as there is too much information and too little time for a proper review of the proposed Bipole III transmission-line project. Additionally they make the case the EIS needs to be enhanced, with all deficiencies fulfilled, before full hearings on the project can begin.
- Peguis First Nation argued there has not been meaningful consultation on the project as mandated under section 35 of Canada's Constitution, and that an adjournment was needed to fulfil the Crown's obligation regarding consultation and accommodation with give time to rectify consultations with First Nations.
At the end of the August 16, 2012 motions hearing the CEC chair announced that in addition to the August 30, 2012 motions hearing already scheduled (now cancelled) there would be another joint prehearing conference/motions hearing on September 11, 2012.
- August 16, 2012 Motions Hearing Transcript (PDF)
- August 8, 2012 Bipole III Coalition Notice of Motion (PDF)
- August 8, 2012 Consumers Association of Manitoba Notice of Motion (PDF):
- August 8, 2012 Peguis First Nation Notice of Motion (PDF)
- August 12, 2012 Manitoba Hydro Response to Notices of Motion (PDF)
- August 13, 2012 MMF Response to Notices of Motion (PDF)
- August 13, 2012 Manitoba Wildlands Response to Notices of Motion (PDF)
- August 13, 2012 Green Party of Manitoba Response to Notices of Motion (PDF)
- August 15, 2012 Winnipeg Free Press Coverage
- August 17, 2012 Winnipeg Free Press Coverage
On the morning of August 22, 2012 The MMF requested a delay to file their motion until the September 11, 2012 motions hearing date. The MMF motion will be the only motion heard at the September 11, 2012 joint motions/prehearing conference.
View August 22, 2012 Letter from MMF requesting a delay to file a motion (PDF)
On the morning of August 22, 2012 the Green Party of Manitoba filed a motion to clarify, which issues were relevant to the Bipole III hearings under the December 5, 2011 terms of reference given to the CEC for Bipole III hearings.
View August 22, 2012 Green Party of Manitoba Notice of Motion
In the afternoon of August 22, 2012 the CEC Chairman indicated that they had sent a letter to the Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship asking for clarification on their terms of reference, and that no further motions on scope or adjournment would be heard.
View August 20, 2012 Letter from CEC Chair Terry Sargeant to Minister Gord Mackintosh requesting clarification on the terms of reference
A response from the Minister, dated August 23, 2012, was circulated to participants on August 30, 2012. The letter from the Minister indicated that NFAAT was outside of the terms of reference.
View August 23, 2013 Letter to CEC Chair Terry Sargeant from Minister Gord Mackintosh (PDF)
View August 23, 2012 Winnipeg Free Press Coverage
On August 30, 2012 The CEC released decisions on two motions by the Consumers' Association of Canada (CAC) and the Bipole III Coalition heard August 16, 2011. Both parties' motions were dismissed.
View August 30, 2012 CEC ruling on Bipole III Coaliton Motion (PDF)
View August 30, 2012 CEC ruling on Consumers Association of Manitoba Motion
A third motion by Peguis First Nation, also heard on August 16, 2012, has not been decided as of August 30, 2012.
The CEC chair indicated he would hold off ruling with respect to Peguis First Nation's motion until the MMF motion was heard on August 30, 2012. It unclear if the CEC chair will continue to hold off ruling on the Peguis Motion, given the delay in the MMF motion until September 11, 2012. As of August 30, 2012 the Peguis motion has not been decided.
Return to Bipole III Proceedings and Hearings Listing