The Manitoba government has revamped the board at its Crown-owned energy utility and has given it a series of new marching orders.
The NDP government, elected in October, has replaced most of the board members at Manitoba Hydro.
New members include board chair Ben Graham, who has been president of Manitoba Blue Cross, and Mike Spence, the mayor of Churchill.
The minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro, Adrien Sala, has issued a new mandate letter to the board, which calls for the establishment of an Indigenous advisory circle.
The mandate letter also reiterates earlier NDP promises such as moving to a net-zero energy grid by 2035, and freezing hydroelectric rates for one year at some point in the near future.
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Sala is also asking the board to examine options for more low-carbon energy generation and storage, including wind and solar power, and to work collaboratively with Indigenous communities.
“In this era of reconciliation, our new government is setting a clear mandate to reset the relationship between Manitoba Hydro and Indigenous communities by rescinding the former government’s directive to prevent Indigenous nations from engaging directly with Manitoba Hydro,” Sala’s letter states.
“It is the clear expectation of our government that not only will Manitoba Hydro consult with Indigenous communities, but partner with them to advance economic reconciliation so that all Manitobans can benefit from our Crown corporation.”
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