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Memory – Construction of a hydroelectric power station on the 11th fall of the Mistassini River

11e chute de la rivière Mistassini
Fondation Rivières submitted a brief to the Office of Public Hearings on the Environment (BAPE) concerning the construction of a hydroelectric power station on the 11th fall of the Mistassini River.

A project of impoverishment and sustainable environmental destruction

The Fondation Rivières requested the holding of public hearings on this project so that the population can express their concerns, their values, for themselves and for future generations on this project which originates from an outdated energy policy from the 2000s and which was scrapped by the government in 2013. The project resurfaced following an electoral commitment which once again renewed what the previous government had stopped, with no other explanation than wanting to support regional development.

Citizen participation in the study of this file required marked determination in order to understand and complete the missing information in the file, and to highlight those which contradict certain proven facts. We salute all the individuals and groups who valiantly contributed to the debate, using their own resources and in a short period of time. However, we must emphasize that some stakeholders do not dare to comment on this project for fear of reprisals from the community.

For its part, the promoter spent 2.6 M$ from public funds over the last four years to construct a voluminous impact study which, however, does not provide certain information. In return, Fondation Rivières, with very limited financial resources, wishes to contribute by providing an original analysis. Despite the absence of answers to several questions and the production of late and incomplete answers to others, the memorandum brings together, we believe, the essential orientations which should allow the Commission to produce a report which must respond to all the questions challenges.

The report contains in particular an economic analysis of recreational tourism issues as an appendix. Our entire contribution is the result of knowledge acquired over recent years in the study of different similar projects. We want the Commission to produce a report based essentially on the guidelines for sustainable development. The final decision, of a political nature, may be based on other criteria.

Photo : 11th fall of the Mistassini River, Le Quotidien

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