03/24/2014 03:07 EDT | Updated 05/24/2014 05:59 EDT

Dozens of rural landowners protest at Manitoba legislature over Hydro plan

WINNIPEG - Dozens of farmers and other rural landowners protested outside the Manitoba legislature over the province's hydro development.

They say Crown-owned Manitoba Hydro is not negotiating payments for easements on their land south and west of Winnipeg.

Opposition Tory Leader Brian Pallister took up the issue in question period, saying the NDP government seems uninterested in collective bargaining when it comes to rural residents.

But the minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro, Stan Struthers, says landowners are being offered 50 per cent above market value.

Struthers also says the Crown corporation will meet with landowners to discuss the payment plan.

Manitoba Hydro is building new generating stations and planning a large transmission line called Bipole Three.