Hydro-Québec has agreed to pay Canada’s native Cree communities US$7M a year in compensation for the La Grande project as part of a deal that brings nearly two decades of dispute between the groups to an end.
Representatives of the Cree Nation, Hydro-Québec and the Société d’énergie de la Baie James (SEBJ) gathered at a signing ceremony in the Cree community of Chisasibi on the La Grande river and agreed to ‘maintain a relationship based on mutual respect, good faith, reconciliation, partnership, meaningful participation and mutually beneficial economic and social arrangements.’
Part of the deal aims to involve the Crees in future hydro developments with jobs and the award of contracts.
The ‘Agreement concerning a new relationship between Hydro-Québec/SEBJ and the Crees of Eeyou Istchee’ aims to:
• Establish public safety measures of interest to the Crees.
• Set up a long-term funding mechanism to address the impacts of the La Grande scheme on the Crees; US$7M per year will be provided by Hydro-Québec for as long as La Grande is in operation.
• Increase over time access to contracts for Cree enterprises resulting from the operation, maintenance, upkeep and repair of La Grande.
• Resolve pending legal proceedings involving the parties.
• Set up a permanent exchange forum and dispute resolution mechanisms.
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