March 13, 2006

Grants awarded under final participant funding round for Eastmain 1-A, Rupert diversion project

OTTAWA, ONT-Ten applicants will receive a total of $82,362 to support their participation in the federal panel review of the Eastmain 1-A and Rupert diversion project. The recipients include: the Council of the Cree Nation of Mistissini, Révérence Rupert, the Municipality of Sanikiluaq, Fondation Rivières, the Cree Outfitting and Tourism Association, Sierra Club of Canada, the Cree Nation of Wemindji, the Cree Native Arts and Crafts Association, Conférence régionale des élus de la Baie- James and the Crees of the Waskaganish First Nation. The grants, awarded by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency following a review of the applications by an independent committee, represent the third and final phase of the federal Participant Funding Program for this project. The Agency and the Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks have each awarded $200,000, in three separate phases, to provide opportunities for public participation in the environmental assessment process. Public hearings by the federal review panel and the Provincial Review Committee (COMEX) are scheduled to start on March 15, 2006 and will examine the project's environmental and social effects and its acceptability. The Eastmain-1-A and Rupert diversion project in northwestern Quebec, east of James Bay, involves the diversion of up to 800 cubic metres per second of water from the Rupert River watershed into the Eastmain River watershed; the construction of a power plant on the Eastmain 1 reservoir; and the addition of structures at the La Sarcelle site at the outlet of the Opinaca reservoir. All of this will require the construction of four dams, 51 dikes, two diversion bays flooding an area of 395 square kilometres, 12,000 metres of diversion channels or tunnels and two permanent access roads. More information is available on the Agency's Web site, www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca.

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