FAQs – Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project

Updated January 2018

General

  1. Why did the NEB recommend that the project be subject to a hearing?
  2. Will there be an environmental assessment?
  3. When will the public hearing be held and where?
  4. Why conduct a federal hearing when there is already been a provincial one?
  5. What will be done to avoid duplication?
  6. What is the effect of the change on the overall timing of the NEB's assessment?
  7. When does the 15 month time limit begin?
  8. Who will make the final decision?
  9. What is the difference in between a permit and certificate?

Participation

  1. I have already registered to participate in the Environmental Assessment (EA), do I need to reapply?
  2. Can I still apply to participate?
  3. Is participant funding available?

General

1. Why did the NEB recommend that the project be subject to a hearing?

The recommendation to go to a hearing was made so that Indigenous considerations are fully taken into account as part of the NEB’s assessment.

It was made following careful analysis of recent Supreme Court of Canada rulings and the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission recommendation report for the project.

See letter to Minister for more details [Filing A87404].

2. Will there be an environmental assessment?

Yes. In addition to the hearing, there will be an environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012.

3. When will the public hearing be held and where?

The oral components of the hearing are scheduled to be held between 23 May 2018 and 1 June 2018 in the community.

The NEB will make provide more information about the exact timing and location as we get closer to the dates.

4. Why conduct a federal hearing when there is already been a provincial one?

Because federal laws in place require a federal assessment of the project.

The NEB will however seek to avoid duplication whenever possible.

5. What will be done to avoid duplication?

To reduce duplication, the NEB requested that Manitoba Hydro file all documents from the provincial Clean Environment Commission public hearing on the NEB’s record.

Also, when contemplating participation in the NEB hearing, people who took part in the provincial process, and who are contemplating participating in the NEB process, are encouraged to only consider what new information they may be able to bring forward.

6. What is the effect of the change on the overall timing of the NEB's assessment?

The NEB is committed to consider this project expeditiously within the 15-month time limit set in the National Energy Board Act. 

7. When does the 15 month time limit begin?

When the Board deemed the application to be complete as set out in the NEB Act, which was on 21 December 2017. This means that the NEB will be making a decision before March 2019.

8. Who will make the final decision?

If the NEB concludes that the project is not in the public interest, the process will stop there.

If the NEB determines that the project is in the public interest, it issues a certificate for the construction and operation of the project, with conditions as appropriate. The certificate is subject to the approval of the Governor-in-Council (i.e. Cabinet).

9. What is the difference in between a permit and certificate?

A permit process involves a technical assessment carried out by the NEB. A public hearing does not take place.

A certificate process involves a public hearing to determine whether the project is in the public interest.

To make a public interest determination, the NEB must hear from any person directly affected by the application, and may hear from anyone who has relevant information or expertise. This can include hearing from Indigenous peoples, local government, industry and landowners.

At the end of the hearing, the NEB must determine whether the project is in the public interest taking into account a range of environmental, socio-economic, technical and economic considerations.

Participation

1. I have already registered to participate in the Environmental Assessment (EA), do I need to reapply?

No, you do not need to reapply. Everyone who registered for the EA are now participants in the hearing.

2. Can I still apply to participate?

Yes. You have until 7 February 2018 to do so.

See the Hearing Order for more details [Filing A89012].

3. Is participant funding available?

Yes, participant funding is accepting new applications until 7 February 2018. Please visit the Participant Funding Program page for information on deadlines, eligibility, how to apply for funding, and how to submit claims.

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