Canada's NDP

NDP

May 22nd, 2020

Concerning report of worker not self-isolating underscores need for Keeyask to go into care and maintenance

Letter sent to the attention of Manitoba Hydro CEO Jay Grewal.

Dear Ms. Grewal,

I am writing to you to raise serious concerns about Manitoba Hydro’s pandemic plan regarding workers and the Keeyask site.

I have received a reliable report that workers brought into Keeyask have not been following the self-isolation requirements that you have announced.

Specifically while workers sent into Keeyask were supposed to self-isolate for two weeks, a worker boasted to others that they had not in fact done so. This is deeply disturbing. It calls into question the effectiveness of what was clearly not a quarantine. This severely compromises Hydro’s commitment to keep workers and your four First Nations partners safe.

I would remind you that many of the workers are coming from provinces that have hundreds of new cases every day. Many of my constituents are very concerned that Hydro won’t even disclose how many workers are scheduled to come from each province and even from the United States. If even one of them was to spread the virus it could have devastating impacts on our communities.

I am very disappointed that Manitoba Hydro has ignored the concerns about the pandemic plan. Instead of listening to the First Nations Keeyask partners who have been expressing serious concerns about your pandemic plan you sought an injunction. This is not consultation, this not reconciliation and this is not a partnership.

The report that workers are not self-isolating as required underscores the need to put Keeyask into care and maintenance during this pandemic to protect workers and northerners. Further I would stress that it should not re-open without the agreement of the First Nations.

Sincerely,

MP Niki Ashton
Churchill—Keewatinook Aski