QUÉBEC CITY, Aug. 9, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - The Québec government is announcing the signing of a four-party agreement with the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government, the Cree Nation Government and the Fonds Restor-Action Cri, aimed at restoring abandoned mining sites in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory. The partnership agreement for this project provides for $11 million from the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources under the Québec government's Programme de réhabilitation des sites contaminés and a $300 000 contribution from the Fonds Restor-Action Cri.
Some $500 000 is initially stipulated to finalize the inventory of the 429 abandoned mineral exploration sites requiring cleanup, which will take place in the summers of 2018 and 2019. Cleanup work will follow, to which the Quebec government will allocate $10.5 million, mainly to cover the removal of potentially hazardous waste, the combustion of non-toxic waste on site, and the transportation of heavy equipment to a recycling centre.
Pursuant to the Entente relative au nettoyage de sites d'exploration minière abandonnés sur le territoire d'Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government and the Cree Nation Government will jointly manage and carry out the project. Cleanup work should start no later than the summer of 2020 and end in 2029.
"This announcement reflects the Quebec government's commitment to restore abandoned mineral exploration sites. It stems from concerted efforts and a shared desire to play an active role in the revitalization of the territory. What is more, I would like to pay tribute to the excellent work of the local communities, including the Indigenous communities, government representatives and mining ventures to make the Nord-du-Québec region a dynamic, healthy territory."
Pierre Moreau, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Minister responsible for the Plan Nord and Minister responsible for the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region
"Rallied around the same objective, I am proud to note that we all share an interest in committing ourselves towards a long-term project that will have a positive impact on the issues that are important to the region's communities; health, the environment, regional economic development and the vitality of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory. I applaud the exemplary collaboration that led to this important agreement; it's a win-win for everyone."
Geoffrey Kelley, Minister responsible for Native Affairs and MNA for Jacques-Cartier
"Restoring abandoned mining sites will benefit everyone, not to mention its concrete impact on the environment. The work will generate significant economic benefits in the local Cree and James Bay communities."
Jean Boucher, MNA for Ungava and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks
"This Agreement is the culmination of efforts that began nearly a decade ago with land-users throughout the territory to identify and assess abandoned mining explorations sites. Today, with the contribution from the Quebec government and the Fonds Restor-Action Cri (FRAC), it is reassuring to see that responsibility and actions are taken to ensure restoration of these impacted lands. This 10-year project will also be a positive contribution to the employment and economic benefits to families and communities who have been affected by these sites."
Dr. Abel Bosum, Grand Chief, Grand Council of the Crees
"I am indeed pleased that the agreement has been concluded to give concrete expression to this important project for the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory. The initiative is another example of the commitment of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government to work with our partners for the benefit of all Cree and James Bay residents in our territory."
Manon Cyr, Chair, Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government
"The mining industry is indeed proud and pleased to contribute to abandoned mineral exploration site cleanup in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory. This remarkable initiative will restore sites that were abandoned decades ago. It marks a concrete gesture to leave a better environment for future generations."
André Gaumond, Chair and Director of the Fonds Restor-Action Cri
SOURCE Ministère de l'Énergie et des Ressources naturelles
For further information: Catherine Poulin, Press Officer, Office of the Minister of Energy and NaturalResources, Minister responsible for the Plan Nord and Minister responsible for the Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine region, Telephone: 418-643-7295; Frédérique Brais-Chaput, Political Attaché, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and MNA for Ungava, Telephone: 418-748-6046; Johanne Lacasse, Director General, Eeyou Istchee James Bay, Regional Government, 819-739-2030, ext. 20226; Chantal Gauvin, Press Officer, Office of the Minister responsible for Native Affairs and MNA for Jacques‑Cartier, Telephone: 418-643-3166; Melissa Saganash, Director of Cree-Quebec Relations, 418-691-1111; André Gaumond, Fonds Restor-Action Cri, 418-694-2444, ext. 230