Quebec urges Innu community to stop blockade near La Romaine
Innu protesters say Hydro-Québec is not respecting agreement it signed with the community
Quebec's Minister of Aboriginal Affairs is urging members of Natashquan's Innu Community to stop their blockade near the La Romaine construction site.
The group of protesters set up a barricade Thursday near Havre-Saint-Pierre in eastern Quebec, about 200 kilometres east of Sept-Îles.
It says Hydro-Québec is not respecting an agreement it signed with the community before work on the hydroelectric project began.
The protesters have been letting workers out of the site, but they say they will not let anyone in until Premier Philippe Couillard speaks with them in person on the North Shore.
Rodrigue Wapistan, the chief of Natashquan's Innu band council, said Hydro-Québec has flooded basins near the worksite without the community's consent.
He said that will drown more than half the trees in the area.
"They have completely trampled on our rights. It is something that is unacceptable in my book -- all while creating a situation that is catastrophic for our next generation," Wapistan said.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Geoff Kelley said he recognizes there are differences between the Innu community and Hydro-Québec, but said protesters should try to resolve its issues through negotiations.