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Press Release

Eastmain 1-A Generating Station Construction Project and Rupert Diversion:

THE MINISTÈRE DE L’ENVIRONNEMENT DU QUÉBEC EARMARKS $200,000 TO SUPPORT PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN THE PROJECT REVIEW

Québec, March 7, 2003 – Mr. André Boisclair, Minister of State for Municipal Affairs and Greater Montréal, the Environment and Water, today announces the creation of a $200,000 financial support program related to the Eastmain 1-A generating station construction project and Rupert diversion. The aim of this program is to encourage individuals, groups and local administrations to take part in the public consultations organized within the framework of the environmental assessment of Hydro-Québec’s project. The financial assistance program ensues from the draft administrative agreement on the coordination of environmental assessments reached between the Crees of Québec, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the ministère de l’Environnement du Québec. This draft agreement was made public on February 28, 2003.

Minister Boisclair will be making known the details of the program shortly. However, we already know that a first installment of $50,000 will be allocated for the consultations on the Preliminary Guideline, namely the instructions given to the proponent to carry out its impact study. This guideline will be drawn up by the Evaluating Committee created under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement.

For the first phase of the assessment process, applications for financial assistance must be received by April 11th as the consultations on the Preliminary Guideline will be held in the spring. A second installment in the amount of $150,000 will be available in 2004 for the public hearings that will follow the publication of the impact study and at which time the project’s impacts and the stakes that it raises will be examined.

" Public consultations are an important step in the assessment process. Within that context, it seems essential that Quebecers speak freely. By proposing this financial support program, we hope for a larger participation of the public, thus giving a meaning to the Government’s dedication to transparency," stated Minister Boisclair.

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Sources :

Martin Lévesque
Press officer
Office of the Minister of State for
Municipal Affairs and Greater Montréal,
the Environment and Water
Tel. : (418) 521-3911
Louise Hamel
Communications Advisor
Direction des communications
Tel.: (418) 521-3823, extension 8025

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