Quebec and Cree Nation sign 30-year economic development deal for James Bay territory (CBC News Montreal – February 17, 2020)

The deal is expected to last 30 years, ensure economic stability for the region

The Quebec and Cree Nation governments have signed a memorandum of understanding for a $5-billion, long-term economic development deal for the James Bay territory, known in the Cree language as Eeyou Istchee.

According to the mandate of the “Grande Alliance,” the deal aims to “the Indigenous values of the region,” while allowing several ambitious social and economic projects to proceed.

Those include the expansion of the rail network to reduce the negative impacts of trucking, the electrification of some industrial projects in the region and infrastructure sharing, Quebec Premier François Legault and Cree Grand Chief Abel Bosum announced Monday.

“This is proof that it is possible to work together on ambitious socioeconomic development projects, to take advantage of the immense mining potential of northern Quebec for the benefit of our two nations, while respecting the environment, the territory and Indigenous values,” Legault said.

Funds for the Grande Alliance will come from the Cree, Quebec and Canadian governments, as well as from the private sector. The 30-year deal aims at ensuring economic stability in the James Bay territory and adjacent regions of the province.

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