Montreal: The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and the Mayors of the Municipalities in James Bay are pleased to announce that the first meeting of the Implementation Committee for the creation of the new Regional Government provided for in the Agreement on Governance in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory took place today in Montreal. The Government of Québec also participated in the meeting.
The Implementation Committee discussed various measures required for the smooth transition to the new governance regime in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory and to ensure that the new Regional Government will be fully operational at the start of January 2014.
All parties expressed their deep satisfaction with this historic meeting. Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come stated, "I am very pleased with our meeting today. It marks the first practical step towards implementing the new governance regime in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory. The Crees will now, for the first time, be full players in the governance of the Territory, and will exercise jurisdiction, in partnership with our Jamésien colleagues, on the Category III lands in the Territory."
The Mayors of the Municipalities in James Bay also noted the importance of today's meeting. Mayor Manon Cyr of Chibougamau stated that she was both proud and happy to take part in today's meeting. "Today, I have the feeling, for the first time in my life, of making history", she stated. Mayor Gérald Lemoyne of Lebel-sur-Quévillon expressed his satisfaction that all the members of the Committee had worked together harmoniously, and with the shared objective of making the Regional Government a success.
Québec's special representative, Madame Martine Tremblay, stated that she was struck at how well the representatives of the Crees and Jamésiens worked together. "It's as if they had already been working together for years", she stated.
The Implementation Committee will meet again in November to review the progress made and to discuss remaining work for the establishment of the Regional Government.