Manitoba Hydro and York Factory First Nation signed an agreement Dec. 5 advancing development of the 1,250-MW Conawapa hydroelectric project in northern Manitoba.
The agreement sets out a process and funding mechanism for the First Nation’s participation in planning and consultation on the development. It also covers environmental and regulatory matters, training, and employment and business opportunities.
Parties reached agreement a month after the Manitoba government announced it would proceed with plans to build the long-delayed project on the Nelson River. (HNN 11/20/06) Conawapa is expected to cost C$5 billion (US$4.4 billion) to develop and build.
Manitoba Hydro President Bob Brennan said activities supported through the agreement would ensure the First Nation is fully engaged and that all parties have the best information available for decision-making. York Factory Chief Ted Bland added the agreement would ensure the First Nation’s members have the resources to effectively participate in planning Conawapa.
Manitoba Hydro said it also is planning process agreements with Fox Lake First Nation and Cree Nation Partners, consistent with the utility’s approach of working closely with First Nations to plan and develop new generating projects.