<eng>Call for Support - James Bay, Quebec

The Anarchives (tao@lglobal.com)
Mon, 15 Apr 1996 00:41:03 +0000 (GMT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 1996 23:08:25 GMT
From: George P Mokray <Cree@world.std.com>

Dear People -

We are circulating this message to remind Hydro-Quebec that we have not
forgotten their actions of the last twenty-five years. Since we are
posting to a number of lists, Websites and individuals, please excuse any
repetitions but feel free to extend the message if you are moved to do
so. Thanks for your support in this effort.

Massachusetts Save James Bay Foundation


Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Announcement of the Hydro-Quebec
James Bay Projects
April 30, 1996

On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the announcement of
the destruction of large sections of northern Quebec by Hydro-Quebec,
Quebec's state-owned and regulated utility, the Massachusetts Save James
Bay Foundation asks all concerned citizens to aid in the continuing
struggle for survival of the Grand Council of the Crees (of Quebec) by
emailing your support to <Cree@world.std.com>.

Since the inaugural announcement in April of 1971, Hydro-Quebec has been
developing massive hydro-electric projects along many rivers in the James
and Hudson Bay region of northern Quebec. These projects have extensive
ecological and socioeconomic impacts on the bioregion and its
inhabitants, including the nearly 18,000 indigenous peoples (Cree and
Inuit) who have lived in the area for over 5,000 years. A significant
portion of the electricity produced by this project is sold to New York
and New England.

James Bay I, the first phase of the proposed projects, has already:
* flooded 4,000 square miles of forest, tundra and taiga (an area equal
to half the size of New Hampshire)
* released vast quantities of greenhouse gases from drowned peat beds,
wetlands and forests into the atmosphere
* converted naturally-occurring inorganic mercury to highly toxic and
rapidly bioaccumulating methyl mercury, resulting in the poisoning of the
aquatic food chain and, in turn, the native peoples
* adversely impacted the habitat of many species of migratory birds,
beluga whales, caribou, wolverines, and the other species who inhabit this
fragile ecosystem
* threatens to destroy what is left of the traditional indigenous
cultures whose identity and way of life are inextricably tied to the land

There has never been a full environmental review for the entire James Bay

In November 1994, the next phase of development was postponed
indefinitely by the Quebec government, although the project could be
reinstated at any time. Recently, Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard
announced in March 95 that the Quebec government would study building
dam on the Eastmain River, reviving part of the James Bay project. The
factors which complicate the postponement include: (1) the political
climate of uncertainty in Quebec as the province grapples with the issue
of formal separation from Canada, and (2) the coming deregulation of the
electric utility industry in New England and New York which could lead to
increased demand for electricity from James Bay.

Massachusetts ratepayers spend over $70 million annually for electricity
from the James Bay hydro-projects (approximately 2.45 billion
kilowatt-hours, 5.4% of its annual state-wide demand). Cheaper in-state
alternatives exist, including energy efficiency programs that experts
estimate could save 5 to 10 billion kilowatt-hours per year.

Join Massachusetts Save James Bay Foundation in sending a message of
support to the indigenous peoples of Quebec to recognize their
twenty-five year struggle to protect their lands and way of life. If you
are in Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday, April 27, please sign the
Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Banner at Boston's Earth Day Concert at the Hatch
Shell, Storrow Drive at the James Bay booth. If you can't join us there,
please set up a banner and booth at your own local Earth Day event or
send us your message via email at <Cree@world.std.com>. All messages
will be sent to the Cree and Inuit Nations to show that people around the
world support their struggle to preserve their cultures and ways of life.

For more information:
MA Save James Bay Foundation
75 Bailey Street
Dorchester, MA 02124