Indigenous and Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke and Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler have issued a statement on the construction of the Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels.
“The construction of the Lake Manitoba / Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels is one of our government’s top priorities.
We are committed to continuing a meaningful and respectful consultation process with Indigenous communities who will be affected by this important climate change mitigation project.
Building positive, respectful, and inclusive partnerships with Indigenous people and communities is fundamental to enhancing and increasing Indigenous participation in Manitoba’s economy, and it is also critically important for advancing reconciliation through a principled approach.
Manitoba has engaged with all 39 Indigenous communities and groups that are potentially impacted; we have 1,083 individual records of communication and have held 139 meetings with Indigenous communities and groups in regards to this project. The Manitoba government has already spent more than $650,000 on engagement and consultation.
Currently, we are working with the federal government through a conformity review process regarding the Environmental Impact Statement. Once the federal government approves the statement, the project will be advanced to the technical review stage and the next phase of consultation will begin.
Manitoba is in the process of signing consultation agreements with communities for this next phase, and to date, has signed consultation agreements with Lake St. Martin First Nation and the following Interlake Reserves Tribal Council (IRTC) communities: Dauphin River First Nation, Lake Manitoba First Nation, and Kinonjeoshetoegon First Nation. Six more agreements are currently being finalized.
This next phase will build upon our ongoing dialogue with communities and will follow the requirements laid out in both provincial and federal consultation processes.
We are committed to getting this project built, and we are committed to doing so in a way that respects and meaningfully engages Indigenous communities in consultation.”