Author: Public Interest Law Centre (for CAC Manitoba).
Manitoba has a mixed legacy of Hydro-electric development including : significant economic and social benefit & material cost of development to the environment and to Indigenous peoples intimately connected to the lands. At the root of social and environmental devastation: the failure to listen (especially to our First People), a sense that what is good for Manitoba Hydro is good for Manitoba, and poor environmental decision making process and tools.
This legacy endures. Manitoba Hydro has : caused significant economic and social benefit, led to profound and deleterious impact on the ecosystem, caused profound and deleterious impact on Indigenous people, damaged the Hydro Brand, led to increase vulnerability of the Hydro Brand in the American marketplace.
The CEC should expressly find:
1. Manitoba Hydro experiences ongoing challenges in hearing and reconciling voices of the community;
2. Manitoba Hydro's application is not consistent with best practices.
The CEC should expressly conclude that:
1. Manitoba Hydro's cumulative effects approach appears disconnected from modern best practice;
2. There are material flaws which continue to exist in Manitoba Hydro's assessment of the impacts on caribou;
3. There are major gaps in Manitoba Hydro's assessment of potential health impacts including those related to mental health, stress, infectious disease and gastro-intestinal disease;
4. To the detriment of its wildlife analysis, Hydro has adopted an impoverished and "one size fits all" approach to its determination of significance.