29 December 2009

Innu seek halt to water management application

In a 51-page letter filed with the public utilities board on December 15, the Innu of Ekuanitshit are asking the border to refuse to approve any agreement or suspend NALCOR’s application based on NALCOR’s failure to adequately consult with them as provided under the Constitution Act, 1982.

Specifically, the Ekuanitshit Innu are seeking:

AN ORDER refusing to approve the agreement or, in the alternative, suspending Nalcor’s application and setting aside for future examination the duty to consult and accommodate the Innu of Ekuanishit; and

AN ORDER: that on an interim basis and in any event of the cause, Nalcor pay all expenses incurred by the Conseil des Innus de Ekuanitshit in connection with Nalcor’s application to the board, including costs of counsel, engineers, valuators, stenographers, accountants and other experts or assistants retained by or for the Conseil des Innus de Ekuanitshit in and about the inquiry; and
that Nalcor and the Conseil des Innus de Ekuanitshit are to attempt to agree on a procedure whereby, upon incurring costs and disbursements from time to time up to the end of the inquiry, trial, the intervenor will so advise the applicant and the applicant shall
pay them within a given time-frame, unless Nalcor objects, in which case it shall refer the matter to the Board.

The application for costs is based on the magnitude of the project, the scope of the potential infringement on the Innu’s aboriginal rights and the Innu’s lack of financial resources.

In a separate 143-page letter dated December 21, 2009, the Innu of Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam make the same application to the public utilities board.  Both letters include commentaries on aspects of the NALCOR proposal for the Lower Churchill.