Even if the Innu of Maliotenam vote no to the SM-3 hydro-project, Hydro-Quebec plans to go ahead anyway.

The Innu community at the mouth of the Moisie River is going to the polls June 13 to vote on an agreement-in-principle reached between Innu leaders and Hydro-Quebec on the Sainte-Marguerite project.

“The Innu don’t have the illusion that they can stop the construction,” said Bernard Cleary, who is coordinating the Innu referendum. “A refusal at the referendum can only make the project more complicated.”

In the agreement, the Innu agree not to delay construction of the project in exchange for $20 million in compensation. Cleary insisted that the community backs the project. “Everyone knows each other,” he said in a Canadian Press news report. “It’s easy to know the pulse of the community.”

Work on the access roads has already started.