Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench issued an injunction yesterday ordering Tataskweyak Cree Nation to immediately remove their blockade of Provincial Road 280 and the Keeyask Generating Station construction site in northern Manitoba.
“This injunction further proves the plan we have to safely resume regular work rotations at Keeyask protects both our workers and neighbouring communities from COVID-19,” said Scott Powell, Manitoba Hydro’s Director of Corporate Communications.
“Our plan goes above and beyond the latest public health guidelines and was endorsed by Dr. Roussin, Manitoba’s Chief Provincial Public Health Officer.”
Manitoba Hydro sought the injunction to protect the jobs of Keeyask workers and its customers from significant cost increases due to delays in the construction schedule that could arise due to a blockade.
“Over 500 employees and contractor staff have been at the Keeyask site for eight weeks now and for their wellbeing, we need to rotate in replacement staff so work can safely continue,” Powell said.
“A blockade shutting down construction on the project will cause delays and cause tens of millions of dollars of unnecessary costs for our customers, plus the loss of employment for hundreds of workers.”
The injunction gives RCMP the authority to remove the blockade immediately.
The Keeyask Project is a 695-megawatt hydroelectric generating station being built by Manitoba Hydro in partnership with four Manitoba First Nations: Tataskweyak Cree Nation, War Lake First Nation, York Factory First Nation, and Fox Lake Cree Nation.
The project is currently tracking to meet its $8.7 billion budget and to have the first unit producing power by October 2020.