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Manitoba government had right to cancel Metis benefits deal, judge rules

A Manitoba judge has ruled the provincial government was within its rights to cancel a $67-million agreement with the Manitoba Metis Federation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

A Manitoba judge has ruled the provincial government was within its rights to cancel a $67-million agreement with the Manitoba Metis Federation.

Chief Justice Glenn Joyal of Court of Queen’s Bench says the move was a reasonable exercise of powers the provincial cabinet has in its stewardship of Crown-owned Manitoba Hydro.

The federation and Manitoba Hydro reached an agreement several years ago that would have given the Metis federation $67 million for supporting hydro projects such as a new transmission line to Minnesota.

That support would have helped secure faster approvals at regulatory hearings.

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Premier Brian Pallister called the deal “hush money,” and he and his cabinet cancelled it in 2018.

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The Metis federation, saying cabinet had no right to quash a deal reached by its Crown corporation, had asked the court to overturn Pallister’s decision and reinstate the agreement.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba Metis Federation threatens transmission line support'
Manitoba Metis Federation threatens transmission line support

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