Construction is moving ahead with the Bipole III hydro project, despite objections from a number of landowners along the route.
Brunkild-area farmer Jurgen Kohler is chair of the Manitoba Bipole III Landowners Committee.
He says their main concern is that crews are entering their fields without any agreement in place on how to handle issues such as biosecurity.
“When you're in the clubroot hotzone, you need the highest biosecurity that's possible. You need to enforce that,” commented Kohler. “When we were there on Friday, driving around just observing what's going on, we didn't see any biosecurity being done.”
Kohler notes there are about 40 farmers who have not signed agreements, despite their land being expropriated by the NDP government back in 2014.
He adds that the group feels let down by current Midland PC MLA Blaine Pederson, who helped organize the group about four years ago.
Pederson responded to the group's concerns by issuing the following statement:
“This is an emotional issue and I respect the rights of these landowners to express their continued disappointment in the NDP's decision to route Bipole III down the west side of the province. My duties as an elected member of the legislative assembly are first and foremost to my constituents, who I will continue to serve and ensure that their concerns are heard by the applicable ministry.”