Energy Minister Pierre Moreau says the Hydro-Quebec president is condescending when he says the Apuiat wind project may not benefit the Innu.
“First Nations, and the Innu in particular, have economic advisors, legal counsel, who are as good as those of Hydro-Quebec. […] So it’s a little condescending to say “it will not pay you, you,” said Minister Moreau, interviewed by Mario Dumont on LCN on Monday.
The Apuiat wind project, on the North Shore, is at the center of a standoff between the Couillard government and Hydro-Québec President Éric Martel, since the latter has raised doubts about the relevance of this potential energy park.
“The data collected to date by my team does not allow us to estimate the projected profitability of the project and even less the potential benefits to the Innu community, which could be low or non-existent,” wrote Mr. Martel to the Innu Nation Chiefs. , in a letter dated August 6, which our Bureau of Investigations obtained. The project could result in estimated losses of between $ 1.5 billion and $ 2 billion during the 25-year contract, according to Hydro-Québec CEO Eric Martel.
A letter that obviously did not please Minister Moreau, who believes that the project will benefit both Hydro-Québec and the Innu community.
“The tone of the letter has inflamed the relationship with the Innu. We can not, in a negotiating context, suggest that the party, on the other hand, is not well equipped to understand what is happening, “he added, during his interview at LCN .
A “good project”
For Minister Moreau, this is a “good project”, for a number of reasons, notably because of the creation of 400 jobs in the regions during the construction of the park.
He believes that Quebec’s energy demand will increase from 2022, when the potential Apuiat wind farm could generate its first watts. Not to mention that Ontario plans to close one of its nuclear power plants within a few years, Moreau said, even though Hydro-Québec is facing significant energy surpluses.
The member for Châteauguay also admitted that it was necessary to carry out this project to maintain good relations with the First Nations.
“[In the future], we will need to negotiate with them, for our benefit to us. So, we must avoid having a strictly accounting approach, “he explained.
The Apuiat wind project is a 48 to 57-turbine project that is expected to generate 200 MW of energy. The Innu Nation has partnered with private companies Boralex and Renewable Canada to build its wind farm.