The Grand Council of the Crees

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

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

Posted: 2007-03-16

Nemaska, Eeyou Istchee (March 16, 2007) "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 please contact:

Grand Chief Matthew Mukash (819) 673-2600

Bill Namagoose, Executive Director (613) 725-7024