Finalization of Manitoba Water Power Act licence

On December 22, 2010, Manitoba Hydro requested Manitoba Water Stewardship provide a Final Licence for Lake Winnipeg Regulation (LWR) under the Manitoba Water Power Act. According to the Water Power Regulation (under the Manitoba Water Power Act), an Interim Licence holder “shall be entitled” to a Final Licence upon completion of the development, and fulfillment and compliance with the terms and conditions of the Interim Licence. The Manitoba Clean Environment Commission is conducting a review regarding the licensing of regulation of Lake Winnipeg. On July 31, 2014, we submitted a document in support of our request for a final licence.

Interim licence

The Province of Manitoba issued an Interim Licence under the Manitoba Water Power Act for LWR on November 18, 1970 and a Supplementary Interim Licence on August 8, 1972. The Interim Licence, a standard feature of the Water Power Regulation, authorized the design, construction, and subsequent operation of LWR. Construction was completed in 1976. Since then, LWR has operated under the authority of the Interim Licence.

We have operated under an Interim Licence because sufficient time was required to address the scope and complexity of its terms and conditions, including confirming the extent of lands required, and resolving outstanding LWR issues with First Nations, communities, and resource user groups inhabiting the area along the LWR waterways.

Meeting these requirements entailed:

  • extensive surveying and mapping;
  • negotiation of complex agreements;
  • remedial works (e.g. Cross Lake Weir);
  • ongoing programming and processes for impacted communities.

Those terms and conditions took many years of study over various conditions to fulfill, but had to be completed before a Final Licence request could be made. Accommodations, such as compensation agreements with affected communities and resource user groups, were often reached in collaboration with the federal and provincial governments through tripartite and 4-party arrangements.

The Final Licence would run until July 16, 2026, which is 50 years from the completion of construction and commencement of operation of LWR. This timeframe is specified in Water Power Regulation. If Manitoba Hydro wishes to continue operating LWR beyond that time, it must apply for a renewal licence before the Final Licence expires.

We opened a questions/comment process from October 22, 2011 to December 22, 2014 as outlined by the Clean Environment Commission as part of the review of our request for a Final Licence.