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Manitoba farmers protesting Bipole III construction

Manitoba farmers protesting Bipole III construction

Farmers say Manitoba Hydro has failed to negotiate

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

A group of farmers is protesting a Manitoba Hydro project because they feel the hydro company hasn’t done their due diligence to address concerns with local farmers.

“Hydro has just been bullying their way through and just going on the land,” farmer Jurgen Kohler told CBC.

In a show of solidarity on Feb. 28, nearly 30 farmers blocked site access for construction workers to continue working on the project.

The project, which includes building two new converter stations and ground electrodes, isn’t the problem – it’s that Manitoba Hydro hasn’t sat down with farmers and landowners in the past two years.

Another issue concerning farmers is the equipment used during the construction and its potential impacts on soil and livestock if not cleaned properly.

“I want to farm for many generations,” farmer Timothy Wiens told CTV News. “I would like to give my kids the ability to have that opportunity and if something should be spread, that opportunity might not exist.”

In response, Manitoba Hydro sent a statement to CTV.

“Before any augers are moved we scrape them to remove the loose material. Any remaining material, clays from below ground, are then sprayed with Virkon, a disinfectant used to help manage biosecurity risk. At this time of year, the top soil where contaminates could reside is frozen and does not adhere to the auger,” part of the statement reads.