Manitoba Hydro has canceled a Community Enhancement Program for municipalities affected by the Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project.
As part of the Community Enhancement Program, six municipalities would receive a total payout of around $4.27 million.
Lewis Weiss is the Reeve for the R.M. of La Broquerie. He says they would have received approximately $900,000 if Manitoba Hydro had not backed out of the plan. He notes pulling out of the agreement after promising the money is a bit of a nasty move.
What they did is they got us to quit opposing them and probably not just La Broquerie but many municipalities were fighting this thing, I know we were, and then we quit fighting it and it all goes through and then they tell us 'Oh and by the way you don't get your $900,000’ or whatever they promised everybody.
On the other hand, Weiss says he is not personally disappointed that the payout has been canceled because he knows all of that money has to come from Manitoba Hydro Customers anyway.
Manitoba Hydro Spokesperson Scott Powell says the program was canceled due to a shift in provincial policy.
The provincial government has taken a different position on benefit programs of this nature and Manitoba Hydro as a crown corporation is aligning with the government’s position. I want to be clear that there were no formal agreements signed or formally in place and as such it is within our right to discontinue discussions on that.
Stuartburn Reeve David Kiansky says their municipality was set to receive approximately $450,000 which would have made a big difference.
For a small RM like ourselves here this was major coin, we could have then matched it with community places grants and it would have worked up to about $900,000 total so that would have been real step in the right direction. Luckily we didn't make any plans and our public didn't even know about it which is a good thing because we didn't promise something that we couldn't keep.