Debate heats up on landmark deal


Consultations on a historic $3.6-billion Quebec-Cree deal are entering a final phase, and debate surrounding the deal is heating up.

A consultation tour by Cree leaders began in mid-January and is scheduled to wrap up by the end of the month. The nine Quebec Cree communities will then hold community assemblies to decide whether to approve the deal.

Consultation meetings have been tense and emotional. At a gathering in Nemaska, elders were critical of the deal. “Most of them feel the land has already suffered enough,” said Lindy Moar, a school administrator in Nemaska.

The Oct. 23 deal, which includes a hydro mega-project on the Rupert River and some new self-government powers for Crees, has faced withering opposition in James Bay, where many Crees feel the deal betrays years of opposition to hydro projects.

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