The Valley Leader ? Thursday, April 3, 2014 3

Carman chamber elects two new members to board

By Emily Distefano

The Valley Leader

The Carman and Community Chamber of Commerce has two new board members after elections held at their Annual General Meeting on March 20. Sean Billing and Trish Middleton both stepped down from their seats, leaving two vacancies on the board of directors. Three local people were nominated for the two positions: Kenton Vanderveen of Vanderveen Greenhouses, Trish Driedger of Linear Grain, and Robynn Salter, owner of McGee?s Family Restaurant. Submitted For The Valley Leader Brian Pallister speaks at the Bi-Pole III landowner?s coalition rally on March 21 at the Manitoba Hydro building and Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg.

Landowners rally for Hydro meeting

By Emily Distefano

The Valley Leader

Landowners whose properties will be crossed by Manitoba?s Bipole III transmission line rallied in Winnipeg last week in protest of Manitoba Hydro?s refusal to negotiate with landowner advocacy group CAPELA. Over 100 landowners from southern Manitoba have commissioned CAPELA to negotiate on their behalf, but Hydro says it won?t sit down with anyone except individual landowners, saying it wouldn?t be ?fair? to those not signed up with the group. Most of those landowners signed up with CAPELA made it out to the demonstration, marching at the Manitoba Hydro Building on Portage Avenue and then the Manitoba Legislative Building. ?These are people that don?t normally come out and rally, but I think the reality is hitting landowners here and they?re seeing that we really have no land rights,? said Bipole III Coalition president Karen Friesen. ?Here we?re talking generational farms that we all thought we had control of, and in the end we?re being shown that we don?t have control over our land.? After the rally, members of the Bipole III Landowner?s Committee and CAPELA CEO Dave Core sat down with NDP minister Stan Struthers, who is charged with the administration of the Manitoba Hydro Act. Hope for cooperation Friesen is hoping that the rally and the conversation with Struthers will show Manitoba Hydro that it is in their best interest to negotiate with CAPELA. ?We are still offering them the opportunity to come to the table,? she said. ?After last week, I?m hoping they are reconsidering that. We met with the minister and I think that he recognized our concerns. ?By negotiating with CAPELA, they can actually work with us to negotiate a win-win deal for all landowners and all Manitobans,? she said. Manitoba Hydro is offering landowners 150 percent of the market value for land used, but Friesen said that is not their main concern. ?There?s a lot more to this than money,? she said. ?We?re talking about bio-security protocols, liability issues, easement agreements, not just the bottom line dollar agreement. A lot of these things have not been properly addressed by the package that they have previously brought out to us.? ?[The project] is going to affect the way that we farm in the south forever,? she added. ?It?s not just a pone time thing. ?We want this to be a win-win for everybody. If they choose to divide and conquer then it?s going to get pretty ugly expropriating landowners.? Close voting After a vote from all present chamber members, Vanderveen and Salter received 27 and 18 votes respectively. Driedger received 17 votes. Salter said afterwards that she is excited to join the chamber?s board. ?I think being part of the chamber is very important,? she said. ?It?s a small town - you want to be a part of activities and things that go on. ?I definitely feel that it will be beneficial to my business to get to know other people in the town since I?m not originally from here,? she added. Salter is originally from Winkler. www.pembinatoday.ca Got a news, feature or sports tip for a story that our readers may find interesting? E-mail us at gene.still@sunmedia.ca or call 204-745-2051

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