Mario Dumont's Comments on the Great Whale Project are Not Welcome

    NEMASKA, Eeyou Istchee, QC, March 16 /CNW Telbec/ - "Mario Dumont's
announcement yesterday of his intention to go ahead with the Great Whale
Project is against the spirit of the Paix des Braves Agreement. We consented
to the Eastmain Project and only that project in the Agreement that launched a
new relationship between the Cree Nation and Quebec and our relations are much
improved since it was signed. The Agreement is intended to strengthen the
political, economic and social relations between Quebec and the Crees and
establishes relations based on cooperation, partnership and mutual respect,
but we find that the unilateralism reflected in Dumont's statement undermines
those written commitments of Quebec to the Cree Nation", stated Grand Chief
Matthew Mukash.
    The Great Whale Project once proposed by Hydro Quebec entailed the
flooding of over 3000 sq km of virgin wildlife habitat and the diversion of
four major rivers: the Nastapoka, Coates, Little Whale and Great Whale. This
area is the home of the rare freshwater seals and the rare eastern Harlequin
Duck. "Such a project would not be acceptable today. In addition to these
impacts it would have unknown consequences on the arctic char and beluga
whales that frequent these rivers. The project is clearly not acceptable,"
stated Deputy Grand Chief Ashley Iserhoff. "Clearly Mr. Dumont should
reconsider his position on these matters and check the facts." he continued.

For further information:

For further information: please contact: Grand Chief Matthew Mukash,
(819) 673-2600; Bill Namagoose, Executive Director, (613) 725-7024

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