Public consultations following implementation of the Eastmain-1-A/Sarcelle/Rupert Project
COMEX RELEASES ITS REPORT
Québec, May 28, 2014 – The Review Committee (COMEX) responsible for reviewing development projects in the territory of James Bay south of the 55th parallel today released its report on the public consultations held in six Cree communities in November 2012, following implementation of Hydro-Québec’s Eastmain-1-A and Sarcelle powerhouses and Rupert diversion project. The consultations were headed by then COMEX Chairperson Pierre Mercier.
Condition 9.2 of the certificate of authorization issued for the project on November 24, 2006, by the Provincial Administrator, stipulated that the proponent, Hydro-Québec, had to “collaborate with COMEX to set up a process for consulting the Cree population following completion of the construction period to, among other things, make known the point of view of the Crees on the effectiveness of the mitigation measures put in place and the means that could be envisaged to deal with the project’s residual impacts.”
Following the consultations, COMEX concluded that the project consisted of adequate and an unprecedented number of mitigation and compensation measures, for both environmental and social impacts. In the Review Committee’s opinion, the project contributed to greater understanding between all the parties and greater participation by the Crees in the territory’s development.
Furthermore, COMEX noted that the proponent was proactive, exceeding the requirements of the certificate of authorization in an effort to minimize the project’s impacts and ensure greater Cree involvement in environmental and social follow-up activities. It is clear to COMEX that by requiring the proponent to collaborate on the post-project consultations, Condition 9.2 of the certificate of authorization created an additional incentive for the proponent to make sure that its mitigation and compensation measures were effective. In COMEX’s opinion, this condition, which was unprecedented, must remain a unique approach that could be envisaged, in varying forms, for future large-scale projects in the territory governed by the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement (JBNQA).
COMEX also believes that the public consultations showed the importance of assessing the cumulative impacts of projects. As a standing committee charged with reviewing projects carried out in the territory governed by Section 22 of the JBNQA, COMEX is well aware of the importance of having an overall measure of the impacts over time and space. COMEX would like to thank all those who took part in the consultation process and contributed to the good relations between the stakeholders.
The report on the public consultations is available at http://www.mddelcc.gouv.qc.ca/evaluations/eastmain-rupert/rapport-comexen/index.htm , or from the COMEX secretariat by email@example.com.
Source: Mélanie Chabot - COMEX
418-521-3933, ext. 4674