The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), the Cree Regional Authority and the Cree Nation of Mistissini today filed a declaration of intervention in the legal proceedings recently commenced by Strateco Resources against the Quebec Minister of the Environment.
In its latest legal proceeding, filed on December 5, 2013, Strateco has asked the Superior Court of Quebec to nullify the Minister’s decision to refuse to grant a certificate of authorization for the Matoush advanced uranium exploration project. Strateco has also asked the Court to force the Minister to issue a certificate of authorization for the project.
In his decision of November 7, 2013, the Minister stated that he was refusing to authorize the Matoush project because of the absence of social acceptability for the project, particularly amongst the Crees.
Through the intervention filed today, the Crees seek full rights of participation in the proceedings, and urge the Court to dismiss Strateco’s request in its entirety.
“The requirement of social acceptability as a condition for development in Eeyou Istchee is an essential aspect of the successful nation-to-nation relationship between the Crees and Quebec,” said Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come. “Strateco’s legal action represents a fundamental challenge to the principle of social acceptability, and to our treaty rights. We are committed to protecting our environment and our treaty rights, for current and future generations.”
Located near the Cree community of Mistissini on Cree family hunting lands, the Matoush project is the most advanced uranium project to date in the Cree territory of Eeyou Istchee and in Quebec. Strateco’s advanced exploration project is a crucial step in the company’s stated plans to undertake large-scale uranium mining operations at the Matoush site.
“Mistissini’s position is clear: there will be no uranium activities in our territory. The risks associated with uranium mining and uranium waste are enormous,” Mistissini Chief Richard Shecapio noted. “We will continue working with the hundreds of municipalities and civil society groups that oppose uranium in Quebec.”