Funds have run out for the Great Whale Environmental Assessment Review Office. As of March 31, Crees have been picking up the $40,000-a-month tab to keep the office open to work on the Cree case in the environmental-impact hearings into the Great Whale River Project.
Ottawa and Quebec have been stalling for months on resolving the issue, even though the developer should be paying for intervenor funding in the hearings, according to Bill Namagoose, executive director for the Grand Council. He says the government should go one step further and fund other intervenors at the hearings, like environmentalists or unions.
Namagoose said Hydro-Quebec hasn’t even returned his calls regarding the funds. “They’re too busy spin-doctoring,” he said, a reference to Hydro’s recent deal with Makivik Corporation. Namagoose said that deal further puts the hearings into jeopardy. “Principals in three of the five committees [at the hearings] have signed an agreement saying they won’t modify the project. They [Makivik] made an agreement without knowing what the impacts [of Great Whale] will be on them. They’ve removed the authority of the committees.”