Winnipeg, in the heart of the Métis Nation Homeland – The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is calling Pallister on his intentional misrepresentation of the consultation process, environmental impacts and economic benefits of the Lake Manitoba/Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels Project.
At a press conference yesterday, Pallister spoke at length about the impacts of the 2011 flooding on non-Indigenous, Métis and First Nations communities, citing a $2.2 billion dollar price tag for the costs of relocating and restoring the communities impacted.
Pallister also touted his “gold standard consultation” process with the Indigenous population in the affected areas. At no point did he mention consultation with the Manitoba Métis Community. Nor did he mention why he faces opposition to the project.
“He either doesn’t understand what the word Indigenous means or he doesn’t understand what consultation – or the duty to consult and accommodate – means. I’m not sure which is worse,” said David Chartrand, President of the MMF.
“We want to make sure that the construction of this permanent diversion doesn’t lead to the destruction of our aquatic ecosystems,” said President Chartrand, “I understand that the premier wants to leave a legacy of flood protection. The MMF agrees with that purpose. However, we are thinking decades ahead to the impacts of this decision. If we destroy our aquatic ecosystems due to invasive species and environmental harm, is the cost worth the benefit?”
The premier also stated that he had a victory on Dec. 23, when the courts denied an injunction from the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council and the Manitoba Metis Federation, saying that the case was “lost and well lost.”
Contrary to that statement, the court actually ruled that the MMF had legitimate concerns related to the process of consultation. The MMF will be addressing the issue in its judicial review filed Nov 10. A hearing date has not yet been set.
“Pallister should know that the Métis Nation will never stop defending our environment, our lakes and the people of the province we founded,” said President Chartrand.
“We will work to ensure that the much-needed flood protection happens, but in a way that preserves our land and our waters for future generations of Manitobans,” said President Chartrand. “That, Premier Pallister, is a legacy worth leaving.”
Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.
The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is the democratic self-governing political representative for the Métis Nation’s Manitoba Métis Community. The Manitoba Métis Community is Canada’s Partner in Confederation and the Founder of the Province of Manitoba.
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