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Uashat mak Mani-utenam demands $2.2 billion from Hydro-Québec for “destroying” its lands

The council submitted its motion in the Quebec Supreme Court on January 20.

The Inoue government alleges that the defendants, among other things, authorized and proceeded to build a hydroelectric power station without the approval of the band board. The lawsuit stated that the project would have seriously altered the traditional area of ​​his community.

In a statement issued on Monday evening, the community said that Flood A Important part for him nitacinan Will be Seriously upset practice their traditional activities.

The conseil of the bande se tourne vers la Cour supérieure for que celle-ci reconnaisse en premier lieu the titre ancestral of the communauté sur the territoire which borde the centrale of Churchill Falls, érigée in Labrador to a cinquantaine of kilometers au nord de la frontiere avec Quebec.

The Innus of Uashat mak Mani-utenam is also demanding that the Court impose an injunction against Hydro-Québec preventing it from proceeding with any new agreement relating to the hydropower plant in the absence of the Scope Council.

Significantly, the injunction requested by the Scope Council would oblige Crown to include and obtain the approval of the Scope Council in the process of renegotiating the power contract initially entered into with the CFLCo in 1969 that will expire in 2041.

Council President Mike McKenzie says such a move is vital to the future that connects his community with Crown. Without Innu’s participation in negotiating the new contract, it will be impossible for Hydro-Québec to establish a relationship of good faith with our nation, Indicates.

Innu finally claims damages for destruction from their traditional lands. They are seeking $2 billion in monetary damages from Hydro-Québec, in addition to a $200 million payment. Exemplary and punitive.

The board is also asking the CFLCo to pay $200 million in damages to its lands.

Innu will also try to persuade the court to let them touch the profits generated by the Churchill Falls power plant. The Board is seeking annual compensation equal to 12.5% ​​of the 15% of annual profits generated by Hydro-Québec, in particular through Very lucrative contract with CFLCo.

Hydro-Québec and the CFLCo have illegally seized our lands in order to profit from decades of their energy riches.suggests Mr Mackenzie.

The Board deplores the role of Hydro-Québec

In 1967, the CFLCo began construction of a hydroelectric project on the upper Churchill River. Two years later, in 1969, Hydro-Québec signed an energy supply contract with the company and became the minority shareholder in CFLCo. Nalcor Energy, a subsidiary of the Crown of Newfoundland and Labrador Company, remains the majority owner of the plant to this day.

In the lawsuit filed on Friday, the Uashat mak Mani-utenam Division Board alleged that CFLCo and Hydro-Québec violated Innu’s rights by neglecting to include them in the development of the project.

The Council regrets the role of the main contractor that the state corporation could have played in operating the plant. The Churchill Falls mega project wouldn’t be built without Hydro-Québeccan we read there.

Defendants’ response

Via email, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (NLH) indicates that it will not comment on the filing, since it is a legal proceeding.

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Hydro-Québec prefers to limit its comments for the same reason, and maintains that it is aware of the lawsuit.

However, we are convinced that continuous dialogue with the community will enable us to establish a relationship based on trust. »

Quote from Francis Labe, spokesperson for Hydro-Québec

Hydro-Québec reports that Crown has signed more than 50 electrical installation agreements with various Quebec Indigenous communities.

The suit brought by the Innus of Uashat mak Mani-utenam is not unlike that Submitted by Innu Nation of Labrador in 2020 Before the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador. The nation is demanding $4 billion from Hydro-Québec for the environmental and cultural damage that would have followed the construction of the plant.

The Band Council civil suit filed with the Quebec Supreme Court is in the original filing stage. The allegations made in this application have not yet been proven in court.