The Grand Council of the Crees (GCC) welcomed an interim judgment of the Superior Court of Quebec earlier this month that denied Strateco Resources Inc.’s request for a safeguard order in relation to the Matoush uranium project.
Strateco had claimed that it was unable to pay the current maintenance expenses of the project until their legal attempts to force the project onto Cree land have concluded. The company had requested the court force the government to pay a $2.3-million safeguard so it could keep the Matoush project alive.
The GCC, Cree Regional Authority and the Cree Nation of Mistissini have intervenor status in the proceedings.
“Strateco’s demand that the government fund the Matoush project during the court proceedings was presumptuous,” Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come said in a statement. “We are pleased with the court’s decision. The Cree Nation will continue its active participation in this case, to ensure that our position concerning uranium and our treaty rights are properly respected.”
In her decision, Justice Danielle Blondin found the company’s claims of irreparable financial harm to be “doubtful.”
Eeyou Istchee’s moratorium on all uranium activities is widely supported in the Cree communities since its declaration last year. A 2013 poll commissioned by the Canadian Boreal Initiative showed that 77% of northern Quebecers believe Strateco should respect the Cree community of Mistissini and not proceed with the project.
The Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) is currently conducting a generic evaluation of uranium mining in Quebec on behalf of the provincial government. Strateco’s project and others like it are on hold until the BAPE makes its report to the environment ministry.