PUBLIC UTILITIES - Facilities - Certificate of public convenience and necessity - Electricity - Transmission

Law360 Canada (March 31, 2023, 8:36 AM EDT) -- Appeal by the Manitoba Métis Federation Inc. (MMF) from the Commission of Canadian Energy Regulator (Commission) decision in connection with the Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project (Project) for failing to correctly interpret the words of Condition 3. The Project was an international power line that cut through the heart of the Métis community’s territory. The Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board (Manitoba Hydro) was the proponent and responsible for the Project’s construction and operation. Manitoba Hydro applied for a permit for the Project from the National Energy Board (NEB). The NEB recommended that the Project required a certificate of public convenience and necessity. Manitoba Hydro and the MMF entered into a contribution agreement which provided funding to the MMF for it to conduct a study to assess the potential effects of the Project on Métis land use and occupancy. The major agreed-upon points were reduced to writing (MAP). In its submitted reasons for decision EH-001-2017, the NEB recommended approval of the Project, subject to 28 conditions. The Governor in Council amended certain conditions in decision EH-001-2017. The NEB issued Certificate EC-059 authorizing Manitoba Hydro to proceed with the construction and operation of the Project, subject to 28 conditions attached to the Certificate. By letter to the NEB, the MMF asserted Manitoba Hydro was not implementing the commitments captured by Condition 3 of the Certificate nor was it tracking those commitments as required by Condition 15. The MMF filed a Notice of Application with the Commission to declare that Manitoba Hydro was in breach of Condition 3 of the Certificate. The MMF alleged Manitoba Hydro failed to implement or cause to be implemented all commitments made to Indigenous groups through its Project application. The Commission issued its Decision finding that Manitoba Hydro complied with Conditions 3 and 15 of the Certificate. The MMF took the position that the Contribution Agreement and the MAP, taken together, were commitments made to the MMF within the meaning of Condition 3, and Manitoba Hydro must honour those commitments as part of the licensing conditions imposed on the Project by the Governor in Council....
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