Cross Lake, Man. – A new Process Agreement between Pimicikamak, Manitoba Hydro and the Manitoba Government aims to reset the relationship between the parties.
The 16-page legally binding agreement establishes a process for addressing Pimicikamak concerns about ongoing impacts of the hydropower system. The document establishes the scope of work to be done, funding mechanisms for the process, and principles that will govern the process.
In many ways the agreement is a starting point for the work and talks to come rather than a conclusion.
The agreement is based on the acknowledgement that the northern hydropower system “resulted in, and continues to result in, adverse effects on the lands, pursuits, activities and lifestyles of citizens of Pimicikamak.”
Under the agreement, the parties are legally required to work together in good faith and with mutual respect to:
The agreement includes provision for a mediator to oversee disputes in a timely fashion and binding arbitration over certain matters in cases where mediation proves unsuccessful. Decisions of the arbitrator will be final.
As suggested by Pimicikamak, the agreement also includes measures to maximize efficiency, transparency and accountability of Pimicikamak financial management. The agreement does not discuss how much money Hydro and government will spend toward addressing Pimicikamak concerns. That will be determined as part of the process ahead.
Now that the Process Agreement is finalized and Premier Greg Selinger has sent a letter to Pimicikamak Chief Cathy Merrick stating that he will travel to Cross Lake “as soon as practicable” to deliver a letter of apology for the harms caused by the hydropower system, Pimicikamak has removed the locks it placed on the staff housing complex at Jenpeg and allowed for normal operations to resume.
“The Process Agreement is an important step toward restoring relations between Pimicikamak, Hydro and government,” said Chief Merrick. “I know our people will be watching closely for significant, on-the-ground results to be realized as soon as possible.”
Chief Cathy Merrick
(204) 679-8653 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Kempton, Legal Counsel to Pimicikamak
(416) 571-6775 / email@example.com
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