The Cree leadership says a speech given in Montreal by Action Démocratique leader Mario Dumont Feb. 27 could jeopardize the relationship with the province. If elected, Dumont said he intends to push ahead with the Great Whale Project, without even a phone call to the Cree leaders.

“We thought that the days of unilateral actions were past,” said Grand Chief Ted Moses. “I am shocked by the statements of Mr. Dumont. We will have no choice but to oppose such development plans. We intend to follow a path of cooperation with the Quebec Nation, but this puts the future in doubt,”

He said the Cree fought a long battles against the Great Whale project and would not hesitate to do so again.

“It is not that the Cree are against development, we are against armchair planning on projects that impact livelihoods, wildlife, the environment, cultures, and the general social well being of our population,” stated Bill Namagoose, the executive Director of the Grand Council of the Crees.

The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement contained an agenda for cooperative development and the Grand Council says the “Paix des Braves” Agreement is the implementation of that agenda. The council says Dumont is demonstrating that he is incapable of addressing development issues with First Nations.

“We want to develop our communities and we want to protect the land from inappropriately scaled development,” stated Namagoose.

“This is why the Paix des Braves cancels the NBR Project, while approving the EM1 project. Mister Dumont seems to want to return to the bad old days. If this is his plan, to follow in the footsteps of former Premier Bourassa, then we will have no choice but to fight.”