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James Bay Project: Quebec shelves major power project

In 1971 northern Quebec became a political battleground as the provincial government and the James Bay Cree faced off over a hydroelectric mega-project. Quebec sees the James Bay Project as the key to future prosperity. The Cree believe the massive development will destroy their traditional way of life. Their tense relationship will continue for decades.

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The Great Whale Project suffers a crippling blow when New York State cancels its billion dollar hydroelectric contract with Quebec in 1992. Two years later, the Canadian government orders Hydro-Québec to rework the environmental study it had prepared for the second phase of the project. On Nov. 18, 1994, Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau announces that the Great Whale Project is no longer a priority for his government and puts construction on hold indefinitely.
• As Grand Chief of the James Bay Cree, Matthew Coon Come led the fight against the Great Whale Project. On July 12, 2000, Coon Come was elected National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
Medium: Radio
Program: The World At Six
Broadcast Date: Nov. 18, 1994
Guest(s): Bill Namagoose, Jacques Parizeau
Host: Bernie McNamee
Reporter: Bernard St. Laurent
Duration: 2:26

Last updated: January 12, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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