Hydro-Quebec is pushing a partnership deal with the Crees on its proposed $2-billion-plus Rupert-Eastmain hydro-electric project. Here’s what the project would look like.

The facts of the deal

Cost: $2.2 to $2.8 billion (depending on which of the two variants is chosen)
How much would be flooded by the proposed EM-1 reservoir: 624 sq. km
How high the dam would be: 68 metres
How many dikes: 30
How much would be flooded at the Rupert diversion: 367 or 354 sq. km.
How much the Rupert would be diverted at the dam: 90 per cent
How much the Rupert would be diverted at the river mouth: 33 or 44 per cent
How much electricity would come from the powerhouse: 5.1 to 5.6 TWh per year
How many new kilometres of permanent road: 222 to 226

The “DR 490 Variant” reservoir is bigger, closer to Mistissini Lake, more costly, more damaging environmentally and diverts more of the Rupert.

What the EM-1 reservoir would look like, just north of Nemaska. The reservoir is in Eastmain and Nemaska traplines. Also shown: the reservoir upriver on the Rupert in Mistissini traplines. Here we see one of the two possible variants known as DR 314. This one is the smaller of the two: the lesser of the “two evils.”

The unknowns of the deal
Would Mistissini Lake be affected: Hydro-Quebec has said both that there would be minor impacts, and no impacts at all. Which is it?

What would happen to Nemaska… “Nemaska” means Place of Lots of Fish. Local residents fear they would lose the fish-rich regions, not to mention the mercury poisoning.

Where would the Crees get the money to invest? What percentage would we have to pay and what percentage of revenues or profits would we get? Would we get a say in how our investment is managed? Environmental, social and economic impacts: Yet to be studied.

How many Hydro-Quebec employees would be housed in the new work camp just east of Nemaska? Would it become another Radisson?

Do the people really want it? If not, why are some chiefs meeting behind closed doors with Hydro-Quebec? Why the secrecy?

What is Hydro-Quebec offering? Everybody’s mum. When are they going to show us the money?