Most people in the area will be aware of the standoff south of Landmark last weekend where a group of landowners took on Manitoba Hydro and its contractor along the right-of-way for the Bipole III transmission line. Hydro has pulled all stops in an attempt to advance the line as far as it can before the spring election so that it will be difficult for a new government to halt the project while an independent and wholesome project review is undertaken. As a result, the project is proceeding under adverse and less than cost-effective construction conditions.
The farmers were supported by a cooperative media and even developed a good working relationship with the RCMP who were there to ensure that the protest was carried out peacefully and safely. It has been very disappointing; however, that some local businesses engaged by Hydro, including a survey company in earlier days, and a local concrete company as well as towing company chose to accept work on a project that they must know will compromise the livelihoods and the lifestyle of the impacted farmers. These are farmers who have supported and helped build these same local businesses over many years. They may not be as willing in the future to engage their services.
Perhaps these businesses do not realize that the careless practices being employed by Hydro run the risk of spreading club root and PED and other crop and animal diseases that have the potential to ruin the agricultural economy in this area. Perhaps it’s time these businesses start supporting their own and also stand up to the bullies who continue to put our local farms and farmers at risk.