The Innu are lending their support to the people of Val-Saint-François in their fight against a new Hydro-Quebec power line in the Eastern Townships.

Hydro says the line is necessary to strengthen its power grid after it got flattened by the ice storm. But the Val-Saint-François people say the line is intended for electricity exports to the U.S., and will ruin a beautiful stretch of countryside.

Their protests have fallen on deaf ears, as the government has rammed through the new line with decrees and exempted it from environmental-impact hearings.

The Innu said they know how the Townshippers feel. “Hydro-Quebec is always King and master of the land to the detriment of the people affected and without really considering people’s opinions,” said Guy Bellefleur, spokesman for the Mamu Pakatau Mamit Assembly.

“Is it normal that a state corporation and a government don’t listen to the citizens?

My people have been imprisoned because

they wanted to defend their land. Hydro-Quebec uses the courts to stop us from defending our land. When it sees land, it sees a dollar sign.”

Innu Elder Philip Dietachaud said, “Hydro is going to gradually kill us. Because of theflooding caused by the dams, I can’t pass on my knowledge to my children andgrandchildren. Hydro-Quebec is going to kill our culture.”