Energy & Power
Work on Keeyask to restart; understanding reached between parties
By Anthony Capkun
May 25, 2020 – Manitoba Hydro and the four Keeyask Cree Nations (KCNs) came to terms Sunday (May 25) on a plan to remove the current injunction order and the blockades that barred access to the Keeyask Generating Station construction site.
Blockades were erected in advance of a shift change at the site over fears coronavirus would be introduced into the community. Manitoba Hydro insisted its safety protocols were fine, and secured an injunction against the blockades.
This new understanding occurred over the weekend (May 23/24), reports the utility, via conference call between the chiefs of the KCN communities (Tataskweyak Cree, York Factory, War Lake, and Fox Lake Cree) and Jay Grewal, Manitoba Hydro’s president & CEO.
Both sides made a commitment to broader collaboration in the future, says Manitoba Hydro, which includes conducting a COVID-19 planning exercise with the KCN communities, a face-to-face leadership meeting, and the resumption of the suspended shift change. Discussions also ensured the restart of construction on the 695-MW hydroelectric project.
With blockades removed and the injunction no longer required, regular shipments of materials and supplies into the site will begin as soon as possible, as will a gradual increase in the number of workers on the project. Under the Keeyask Pandemic Plan, all workers on the project must pass a COVID-19 test prior to being allowed to commence work. Roughly 1000 workers will gradually return to continue construction on the project over the coming weeks.