|Manitoba Hydro has paid out more than $14 million in expenses for a northern First Nation related to a hydroelectric dam, even though the community has not yet voted on the project, and no environmental proposal has been filed for the project.
Four years ago, the Tataskweyak Cree Nation, formerly known as Split Lake, signed an agreement in principle with Manitoba Hydro to jointly build the 640-megawatt Keeyask dam at Gull Rapids on the Nelson River.
Manitoba Hydro needs the support of Tataskweyak Cree Nation for the project; community members are expected to vote on it later in 2005. But a 2 year audit obtained by the CBC shows Manitoba Hydro paid more than $14 million over the past two years for consultants and expenses related to preparing the community for Keeyask.
Tataskweyak Chief Norm Flett said that's what it costs to hire experts and reimburse band members for going to meetings about the project. "In order for the First Nations to be informed, somebody has to pay," he said. "In this case, the government of Manitoba instructed Hydro to pay."
View the April 7, 2005 CBC Manitoba news story
View the April 11, 2005 Winnipeg Free Press story
View the Apr 11, 2005 Question Period at the Manitoba Legislature
Visit the Tataskweyak Cree Nation website
Source: CBC Manitoba