FAQs - Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project

Recommendation to the Minister

  1. What did the NEB Panel recommend?
  2. What is the difference in between a permit and certificate?
  3. Why did the NEB Panel make this recommendation?
  4. What is the effect of the recommendation on the timing of the process?
  5. When does the 15 month time limit begin?
  6. How long will it take before a decision is made?
  7. What will be the next steps be following the decision by Cabinet?
  8. Is the NEB assessment of the project continuing while Cabinet is making a decision?
  9. I’ve already registered to participate in the Environmental Assessment (EA), do I need to reapply?
  10. Can I still register to participate?

1. What did the NEB Panel recommend?

On 31 October 2017, the Board recommended to the Minister of Natural Resources that the Governor in Council issue an order requiring that the project be assessed under the certificate provisions of the NEB Act (instead of a permit) [Filing A87404].

2. What is the difference in between a permit and certificate?

A permit process involves a technical assessment carried out by the Board. A public hearing does not take place.

A certificate process involves a public hearing to determine whether the project is in the public interest. To make a public interest determination, the Board can hear any concerns by multiple parties, including Indigenous peoples, local government, industry and other stakeholders. At the end of the hearing, the Board must determine whether the project is in the public interest taking into account a range of environmental, socio-economic, technical and economic considerations. If the Board determines that the project is in the public interest, it issues a certificate for the construction and operation of the project, with conditions as appropriate. The issuance of the certificate is subject to the approval of the Governor-in-Council (i.e. Cabinet). If the Board determines that the project is not in the public interest, it can deny the application.

3. Why did the NEB Panel make this recommendation?

A certificate process that Indigenous considerations are fully taken into account as part of the NEB’s assessment. The recommendation was made following careful analysis of recent Supreme Court of Canada rulings and the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission recommendation report for the project. See letter to Minister for more details [Filing A87404].

4. What is the effect of the recommendation on the timing of the process?

Once a decision is made by Cabinet, the NEB is committed to conduct the regulatory assessment expeditiously.

Wherever possible, the NEB will seek to minimize duplication of measures already taken by the applicant and by the province of Manitoba.

It should be noted that a certificate process would require that a decision be issued within 15 months.

5. When does the 15 month time limit begin?

Pending the Cabinet decision, the NEB Panel will decide on next steps. This would include the determination of when the Board’s assessment under the certificate provisions starts.

6. How long will it take before a decision is made?

There is no specific time limit in the law for this decision to be made by Cabinet.

On other types of recommendations from the NEB, Cabinet typically has 3 months.

7. What will be the next steps be following the decision by Cabinet?

Shortly after a decision is made, the NEB will provide information on the next process steps.

8. Is the NEB assessment of the project continuing while Cabinet is making a decision?

No. While Cabinet is making a decision, the process has been paused.

9. I’ve already registered to participate in the Environmental Assessment (EA), do I need to reapply?

You do not need to take any action at this time.

We will contact those who already registered to participate in the EA when more information becomes available.

10. Can I still register to participate?

Not at this point. We will communicate more information once a Cabinet decision has been made.

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