Trudeau in N.L. for child care announcement, Innu Nation calls foul on Muskrat Falls
Labrador's Innu Nation is sounding the alarm ahead of a meeting today between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey.
Trudeau will be in St. John's today to announce Newfoundland and Labrador as the fourth province to strike a deal with Ottawa for a $10-a-day child-care program, The Canadian Press has learned.
But government sources say Muskrat Falls rate mitigation will be at the top of the agenda when the prime minister and premier meet before the announcement.
Furey has said that when the troubled Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project comes online in November, the province will need another $600 million a year to pay bills that will come due.
Without help, he says, that cost could be borne by the province's ratepayers, who would see their electricity bills nearly double.
The Innu Nation said in a release Tuesday it has been left in the dark about any rate mitigation announcement today, despite being assured it would be kept in the loop and despite the impact on its people of past energy agreements, such as the 1969 Churchill Falls deal with Quebec.
"This time, unlike 1969, our voices will be heard and our rights will be respected," the release said. "Our land is not a commodity to be sold to solve (Newfoundland and Labrador's) economic crisis."
The Churchill Falls project resulted in a massive flooding of traditional Innu territory, eliminating travel routes, hunting grounds and burial sites, the release said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 28, 2021.