Okimahkan Petit – Travel Report
February 7th-9th, 2018
In February of 2017, I was part of a group brought together by A. Conrad Gamble, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Community Infrastructure Partnership Program (FCM-CIPP), the initial meeting was facilitated to identify whether there was any interest in potential partnerships, specifically around Solid Waste Management. BOCN along with interested surrounding towns and rural municipalities were invited to sit together to discuss a possible venture. I am pleased to say that discussions have been ongoing since the initial meeting, and we now occupy a seat at the table of the Twin Rivers Group’s monthly meetings, Twin Rivers is a conglomerate of seven (7) Towns and Municipalities situated between the North and South Saskatchewan rivers. We have been actively working towards identifying the feasibility of creating a Solid Waste Management Site that can benefit all of our communities, both environmentally and financially.
In September of 2017, BOCN signed a ‘Friendship Agreement” with the Twin Rivers Group members in the hopes of keeping the lines of communication open for the solid waste management project. There is a sincere desire from the group to identify and pursue any other potential partnerships that might arise from our continued discussions as well as a commitment towards building positive relationships.
Based on our progress and the events that have taken place following the initial meeting, we were identified as one of the success stories under the initiative and therefore were invited to be presenters at the FCM Annual Conference which took place in Ottawa this year; out of the group Mayor Dennis Helmuth, of Rosthern was selected to attend with me on behalf of the project and partnership. We were asked to speak about our project and then answer any questions from our group, and then share the key points of discussions with the larger group which included over 80 participants from across Canada, and including other partnership groups from Manitoba, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. We were well received and the consistent comment from particpant feedback was that they wished that it could have gone longer. There is strong
*Information can be found at the FCM website regarding ours, and other projects across Canada.
February 20th-23rd, 2018
Since 2014 I have been actively involved in the progress of the ‘Yotin Project’, a wind power creation project that was initiated about fourteen years ago by previous administration. After four years of meticulous review of the many project details we are finally nearing the finish line in what will potentially be the first ever wind-power production company, that has indigenous inclusion for this province. Our partner group passed the initial Request for Qualification (RFQ) process in May of 2017, with our initial submission to SaskPower, this was our guarantee to move onto the next step in the process, the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage, due on March 1st, 2018 at 3pm.
The trip’s agenda included a series of meetings between ourselves and the project partners, as well as a separate meeting with a potential investment company, and a tour of one of their existing wind farms which is partially situated on Akwesasne, one of the Mohawks’ Six Nations Communities. We were coming down to the wire for our proposal submission and had some of the final details to discuss, our Letter of Interest (LOI)/Joint Venture (JV) agreement needed to be reviewed and updated, which required a lot of back and forth between our respective legal representative(s), all parties worked diligently to ensure BOCN remained a true partner in the project, and that our final bid guaranteed the best return for all involved. I am pleased to announce that our agreement(s) were finalized, and the proposal was submitted on time, a decision will be announced in September of this year. The most important piece to all of this process, has always been the ability to access what is called a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with SaskPower, with the announcement in 2016 that Saskatchewan is dedicated to having 50% of their energy production come from alternative energy production, as part of the National Clean-Air Movement. We are one of 15 companies who are bidding for the 200Mw (Mega watt) project(s), but we are positive that our submission will be competitive.
I will continue to update the community on these two, and any new projects as they progress, feel free to contact me if you have any questions. (Please note that trips, flight, hotel and meals were covered).
Okimahkan C. Roy Petit
Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation