The Grand Council of the Crees

James Bay Cree Nation Welcomes Superior Court's Refusal To Order The Quebec Government To Fund Strateco's Uranium Project During Court Proceedings

Posted: 2013-08-01

The James Bay Cree Nation welcomes the interim judgement of the Superior Court of Quebec denying the request of Strateco Resources Inc. for a safeguard order in relation to the Matoush uranium project. Strateco had requested that the Court order the Quebec Environment Minister to pay its monthly operating costs until the conclusion of the legal proceedings in which Strateco seeks to force the Minister to issue a permit for its Matoush advanced uranium exploration project.

Strateco claimed that it was unable to pay the expenses necessary to maintain the viability of its Matoush project. It asserted that the Minister should be held responsible for these difficulties, as a result of the Minister's March 28 announcement of province-wide public hearings on the uranium industry in Quebec.

In her interim judgement, Madam Justice Danielle Blondin concluded that Strateco's legal claim in the proceeding was "doubtful", and that Strateco had failed to demonstrate that it would suffer irreparable harm if the requested safeguard order was not granted.

The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), the Cree Regional Authority and the Cree Nation of Mistissini are interveners in the proceedings, and opposed Strateco's request for a safeguard order.

"Strateco's demand that the government fund the Matoush project during the court proceedings was presumptuous," said Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come. "We are pleased with the Court's decision. The Cree Nation will continue its active participation in this case, to ensure that our position concerning uranium and our treaty rights are properly respected."

In August 2012, the Cree Nation declared a permanent moratorium on all uranium activities in its traditional territory of Eeyou Istchee. On June 21, 2013, the Quebec Environment Minister advised Strateco that he intended to refuse the permit for the Matoush project, because there was not sufficient social acceptability for the project, particularly amongst the Crees.

The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) is the political entity that represents the James Bay Cree people. The Cree Nation of Mistissini is one of the larger communities within the James Bay Cree Nation, and is located at the southeast end of Mistassini Lake.

Source: Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and Cree Nation of Mistissini