By Mervin Brass

Manitoba Hydro says they have extended an invitation to the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation to talk about the Bipole III project.

During the weekend the west central Manitoba First Nation set up a blockade preventing Manitoba Hydro workers from clear cutting a 65 meter wide line through the band’s traditional territory north of Swan River.

Scott Powell, the public affairs manager for Manitoba Hydro, says a letter was sent on Monday to the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation Chief and Council.

“We have heard nothing back at this stage, we’re continuing to reach out,” says Powell. “We’re sending him (Chief) a letter today and we’re hoping he will engage with us.”

The First Nation says there wasn’t a proper Duty to Consult and accommodate process for the Bipole III project.

Powell says the band had an opportunity to participate in hearings about the project.

“The Clean Environment Commission awarded Sapotaweyak funding to participate in the Bipole III hearings, but Sapotaweyak did not choose to participate in those,” says Powell.

“We did engage with a number of communities along the route and we wouldn’t have got our environmental licences and permits had we not.”




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