QUEBEC, October 30, 2018 — François Legault’s government and the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources need to clarify their position on the Apuiat project and meet with the Innu Nation and local elected officials immediately.
By abandoning this major economic development project as he seems to want to do, the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, is stating his opposition to a $600M project and the creation of 400 jobs, which would have benefitted the Côte-Nord region’s economy, without having any impact on Quebecers’ electricity bill.
The first undertaking by the Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region was to abandon the most important economic project since the La Romaine construction site. It is an awfully poor start; the Minister is sending the local population the wrong message. He wasn’t able to defend a project that would have generated an annual income of $500,000 for the municipality of Port-Cartier. After recently having opened the door to it, the CAQ is now prepared to bury the project. We can’t play these kinds of games with our regions’ futures. I am concerned about the region’s vitality.
– André Fortin, Official Opposition Critic for Regional Vitality
We have learned that the government is prepared to abandon the Apuiat project without even having met with representatives from the Innu Nation. By blocking the first energy development project uniting Côte-Nord communities and the Innu Nation, François Legault is missing out on a historic opportunity in the reconciliation process between the Government of Quebec and the First Nations. Furthermore, the CAQ seems to want to turn its back on a very promising economic partnership with the Innu Nation, which seeks to contribute to our collective development.
– David Birnbaum, Official Opposition Critic for Indigenous Affairs
Not long ago, François Legault promised us the Baie-James of the 21st century. Today, he is abandoning a promising project for Quebec’s wind farm industry, an industry that represents 10 billion dollars within Quebec’s economy. The Apuiat project is one where aboriginal peoples were true partners for regional development. Their support is also essential for the development of Hydro-Québec’s other projects. The notion of compensating the Innu communities by sending them a cheque clearly demonstrates that François Legault does not understand the structuring effect this project could have on the communities’ economic and social development.
– Saul Polo, Official Opposition Critic for Energy and Natural Resources