5 new members appointed to Manitoba Hydro board
9 of 10 board members resigned Wednesday, citing disagreements, lack of meetings with province
Five new members have been appointed to the board of Manitoba Hydro, two days after nine members of the 10-member board resigned.
The newly appointed directors of the Crown corporation are Marina James, who will serve as chair, Michael Moore, who will serve as vice-chair, Lisa Meeches, Melanie McKague and Wade Linden, according to a news release from the province Friday morning.
The only remaining member of the previous Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board is Progressive Conservative MLA Cliff Graydon, who will continue to serve on the new board.
James has been CEO of WinnipegRealtors since 2016, the province said. Before that, she served as president and chief executive officer of Economic Development Winnipeg.
Moore is a consultant for the Urban Development Institute. He recently retired as the president of the Manitoba Home Builders' Association, the province said.
Board members are appointed by the government.
Crown Services Minister Cliff Cullen said in Friday's news release that the new members come from diverse backgrounds and bring a "wealth of knowledge and experience."
"Our government is confident and excited that these qualified and capable individuals are willing to take up the challenges that lay ahead of Manitoba Hydro and that they will work in the best interest of the corporation and of all Manitobans," Cullen stated in the release.
Meeches is the president of Winnipeg-based Eagle Vision Inc. and Meeches Video productions. McKague is the senior legal counsel for Bell Canada and formerly served as the director of corporate communications and community investment for Manitoba Telecom Services.
Linden was most recently the operations director at Southport Aerospace Centre Inc.
The appointees will take over the positions vacated by the former board, which was appointed by the Pallister government after the 2016 provincial election.
Former board resigned
Nine individuals from that board, including chair Sandy Riley, resigned on Wednesday.
The other outgoing members are vice-chair Steve Kroft, Dave Brown, Earl Edmondson, Jennefer Nepinak, Michael Pyle, Allen Snyder, Dayna Spiring and Annette Trimbee.
A statement from Riley cited multiple points of disagreement with the province, most importantly that they couldn't get an audience with the premier.
But Premier Brian Pallister said the key issue was that the province wouldn't agree to a $67-million payment the board wanted to make to the Manitoba Metis Federation over 50 years, to smooth the process for the Minnesota-Manitoba transmission line.
Pallister referred to the payment as "persuasion money."
Riley, however, dismissed that characterization as "cynical, offensive and wrong."
MMF president David Chartrand accused the premier of using "race card tactics" in his response, and MMF lawyer Jason Madden said the federation will take the government to court if it tries to cancel the deal.
On Thursday, the premier pledged to replace the board by noon Friday.