NEMASKA, Eeyou Istchee, March 5, 2013 /CNW/ - The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) today called on the Marois government to move forward with its plan to convene an independent evaluation of the uranium industry inQuebec. Poll results released today by the Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) confirm that a very strong majority of Quebecers are in favour of such an evaluation being held before any uranium projects are authorized in Quebec.
"The Grand Council of the Crees has previously urged the government to convene a broad, independent and rigorous study of the environmental and social impacts of uranium mining in Quebec," said Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come stated. "These poll results confirm that this approach also enjoys overwhelming public support."
The Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee has consistently stated its opposition to uranium mining in all its forms in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay territory. In August 2012, the Cree Nation enacted a permanent moratorium on uranium exploration, mining, milling and waste emplacement in Eeyou Istchee. The Crees are also intervening in the legal proceedings recently commenced against Environment Quebec by Strateco Resources, the proponent of the Matoush advanced uranium exploration project, the most advanced uranium project proposed to date in Quebec.
The CBI poll sought the views of Northern Quebecers as to what Strateco should now do, in light of the decisions of the Cree population and Cree governments to oppose the Matoush project. Three out of four respondents (77%) stated that Strateco should respect the views of the Crees and not proceed with the Matoush project. Amongst non-Cree respondents, a solid majority (63%) said that Strateco should respect the views of the Crees.
"The importance of social acceptability of proposed development projects in Eeyou Istchee is an essential part of the nation-to-nation relationship between the Cree Nation and Quebec. As these poll results show, this principle is also recognized and supported by the population of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay territory," noted Grand Chief Coon Come. "The Cree Nation is committed to working with our neighbours to pursue the many opportunities for environmentally and socially sustainable development that exist in our territory."
Two polls were conducted in February for CBI by the polling firm Léger Marketing, one including respondents from across Quebec and the other including respondents from Northern Quebec. Detailed information concerning these polls is available at www.borealcanada.ca.