Some Manitoba cottage owners have joined forces with a First Nation to try stopping a power line project in Nopiming Provincial Park.
The 19-kilometre hydro line project, which received provincial approval in November following an environmental assessment report, is set to start in the spring and be completed by Sept. 30.
However, less than half of the 156 cottages in Long Lake and Beresford Lake will actually be hooked up. Only 72 cottagers have paid $10,000 fee.
‘A complete pause is what is required and anything less than that would be to put a rubber stamp on this flawed process and that is wrong for all Manitobans.’-Brian Gudmundson
Cottage owner Brian Gudmundson, who opposes the plan, says Manitoba Hydro is trying to put in the power line without proper consultation or majority support.
The Sagkeeng First Nation also opposes the deal and has criticized the province for not consulting with them.
“A complete pause [of the project] is what is required and anything less than that would be to put a rubber stamp on this flawed process – and that is wrong for all Manitobans,” said Gudmundson.
He added the rest of the $800,000 expense to put in the poles and lines and bring power to the area would be paid for by Manitoba taxpayers.
“We shouldn’t be subsidizing a small number of elite cottage owners who are demanding subsidy from Manitoba Hydro,” he said.
“This is wrong. We’re not building a town site. This is a scattering of cottages in a remote park.”
Currently, cottagers in the area, on the southeast side of Manitoba, along the border with Ontario, rely on gasoline-powered generators and use outhouses or composting toilets.
Gudmundson, along with other cottagers and the Sagkeeng leaders, are worried the project will lead to further development in the area.
Nopiming, in the Anishinabe language, literally means “entrance to the wilderness.”