N . R-3685-2009

advertisement

Observations and comments of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi

R-3685-2009

C A N A D A

PROVINCE OF QUEBEC

DISTRICT OF MONTREAL

N

O

.

R-3685-2009

R É G I E D E L’É N E R G I E

__________________________

HYDRO-QUÉBEC

Applicant

et

MI’GMAWEI MAWIOMI

et al.

Intervenants

________________________________________________________________

OBSERVATIONS AND COMMENTS OF THE MI’GMAWEI MAWIOMI

REGARDING THE NON-MONETARY BID CRITERIA FOR THE CALL FOR

TENDERS FOR COMMUNITY AND ABORIGINAL WIND POWER PROJECTS

Demande d’Hydro-Québec d’approbation de la grille de pondération des critères non monétaires pour l'appel d'offres éolien issus de projets communautaires et autochtones (A/O 2009-01)

April 9, 2009

________________________________________________________________

Mi’gmawei Mawiomi

2 Riverside Drive West

P.O. Box 135

Listuguj, Quebec G0C 2R0

Prepared with the assistance of

Troy Jerome, Executive Director, Mi’gmawei Mawiomi Secretariat and Me Franklin S. Gertler

Observations and comments of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi

R-3685-2009

OBSERVATIONS AND COMMENTS OF THE MI’GMAWEI MAWIOMI

Further to the procedural letter of the Régie dated March 20, 2009, these are the brief observations and comments of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi (“

MM

”) with respect to Hydro-Quebec’s application for approval of its proposed non-monetary criteria for call for tenders A/O 2009-01 to provide wind power from aboriginal and community projects (R-3685-2009).

1.

M

I

GMAWEI

M

AWIOMI AND THE

M

I

GMAWEI

M

AWIOMI

S

ECRETARIAT

The Mi’gmawei Mawiomi was formed in August 2000 further to a Political

Accord bringing together the Mi’gmaq of Listuguj, Gesgapegiag and Gespeg.

The mission and mandate of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi includes the protection and promotion of Mi’gmaq rights, title and interests, economic development and access to and governance of lands, resources and revenues in the traditional territory of Gespe’gewa’gi. Gespe’gewa’gi is the Seventh District of Mi’gmagi, and includes portions of what are now known as Quebec and New

Brunswick, including surrounding islands, waters and resources. The territory notably extends to the whole the Gaspe Peninsula.

At the centre of this work is the protection, assertion, promotion and exercise of Mi’gmaq Aboriginal rights and title and Treaty rights, all recognized and affirmed under section 35 of the

Constitution Act, 1982

.

The Mi’gmaq have never ceded our lands, waters and resources. Our

Mi’gmaq title is confirmed by our Treaties of Peace and Friendship with the

Crown. As the Supreme Court has confirmed, “aboriginal title has an inescapably

2

Observations and comments of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi

R-3685-2009 economic aspect”; it is a “right in land” and it includes, for example mineral and energy rights such as oil and gas exploration and development

1

.

Provincial title to public lands, resources and revenues is made subject to

Aboriginal title by virtue of section 109 of the

Constitution Act, 1867

that refer to

“any interest other than that of the Province”

2

. The government has the burden of showing that “both the process by which it allocated the resource and the actual allocation of the resources” reflect the prior interest of aboriginal rights holders

3

.

The Mi’gmawei Mawiomi Secretariat coordinates and supports the work of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi and its Nutewistoq (Speaker) Brenda Gideon Miller in the talks on comprehensive negotiations with Canada and Quebec regarding the lands and resources of Gespe’gewa’gi.

In addition, the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi Secretariat supports the common economic development initiatives of the Mi’gmaq of Gespeg, Gesgapegiag and

Listuguj. In this regard, the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi has been mandated by the

Chiefs’ Executive Committee and by the full Assembly representing the Chiefs and Councils of all three communities to pursue a united approach to wind energy development in Gespe’gewa’gi, promoting Mi’gmaq jurisdiction, revenue sharing, access to resources and economic development.

The findings of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi in full Assembly are that Quebec’s land and resource legislation has ignored Mi’gmaq rights and jurisdiction and suppressed Mi’gmaq progress for far too long. Our communities are systematically excluded from decision-making on the development of our lands.

1

Delgamuukw v. British Columbia

, [1997] 3 S.C.R. 1010, par. 169, 119, 122

(http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/1997/1997rcs3-1010/1997rcs3-1010.html)

2

3

Constitution Act

,

1867

, section 109 as interpreted in

Delgamuukw

,

supra

, par. 175

R. v. Gladstone

, [1996] 2 S.R.C. 723, par. 62 (http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/1996/1996rcs2-

723/1996rcs2-723.html)

3

Observations and comments of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi

R-3685-2009

This has aggravated the social situation and Canada’s statistics demonstrate that we are the people who benefit the least from the exploitation of our lands where entire industries have flourished. Exclusion of Mi’gmaq from fish, forest and mineral development must not be repeated as the scarce and lucrative wind power sites of Gespe’gewa’gi are developed.

The history of exclusion is intolerable and outright discrimination. The

Mi’gmaq of Gespe’gewa’gi will take a proactive approach to change the situation.

There is 1,660 MW of installed capacity of wind energy generation underway on our lands. We have been shut out of the contracts, receive no revenues and the

Mi’gmaq employed can be counted on one hand.

As part of its mandate from the Chiefs and Assembly, the Mi’gmawei

Mawiomi Secretariat has been instructed to intervene on behalf of the Mi’gmawei

Mawiomi in the present hearing before the Régie de l’Énergie.

2.

M

I

GMAQ

R

IGHTS

W

ELL

K

NOWN

The Government of Quebec, including the Régie de l’Énergie and Hydro-

Quebec, are well aware of Mi’gmaq Aboriginal rights and title and Treaty rights in

Gespe’gewa’gi. In particular, they are well aware of the insistence of the

Mi’gmawei Mawiomi and its constituent Mi’gmaq communities that wind power development in Gespe’gewa’gi include the Mi’gmaq in an economically viable fashion and does not jeopardize the value of any eventual negotiated settlement with Canada and Quebec.

This awareness of the interests and concerns of the Mi’gmaq of

Gespe’gewa’gi, with respect to the lands and resources of the traditional territory, including as regards the allocation and development of the scarce sites with the

4

Observations and comments of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi

R-3685-2009 highest wind power development potential, is reflected in the decision of the

Régie regarding the application for revision by the Assembly of First Nations of

Quebec and Labrador (R-3595-2006), decision D-2006-166 of December 21, pages 19 and 20:

De fait, les revendications dont la preuve fut faite devant la

Régie se divisent en deux zones. Il fut question des revendications territoriales des Innus (affidavit du Chef Denis

Ross, pièce B-30) sur la Côte-Nord et des Premières nations

Mi’gmaq de Listuguj, Gesgapegiag et Gespeg (affidavit du chef John Martin, pièce B-32) et de la Première nation

Malécite de Viger (affidavit de Me François Robert, pièce B-

28) dans le Bas-du-fleuve et en Gaspésie. Ces revendications couvrent une partie importante du territoire québécois et de son potentiel de vents économiquement exploitable.

***

Sur la naissance de l’obligation, par opposition à son contenu, la Régie conclut que l’APNQL a rempli son fardeau de preuve par la démonstration non contredite de la connaissance, à tout le moins par imputation, de l’existence potentielle de droits autochtones par la preuve des revendications territoriales des Innus, des Mi’gmaq et des

Malécites sur le territoire québécois et ce sans que la Régie soit appelée à se prononcer sur leur portée ou sur leur validité. Il en est de même à l’égard d’une mesure susceptible d’avoir un effet préjudiciable par le décret 926-

2005 ordonnant l’attribution d’un bloc d’énergie éolienne de

2000 MW par appel d’offres du Distributeur. L’impact d’une telle allocation de ressources doit être suffisant pour permettre à l’APNQL de rencontrer le test de l’arrêt

Nation

Haïda

.

The Mi’gmawei Mawiomi does not accept that the Province can ignore our constitutional rights and transform its limited rights under section 109 of the

Constitution Act

, 1867 into unlimited rights to develop the wind potential of

Gespe’gewa’gi by dividing up the exercise of jurisdiction resource allocation and

5

Observations and comments of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi

R-3685-2009 decision-making among the Régie, Hydro-Quebec and the Ministry of Natural

Resources. This would be to allow the Crown to do indirectly what it cannot do directly. The Régie is bound to obey and apply the Constitution in ruling in the present case.

3.

O

BSERVATIONS AND COMMENTS UNDER RESERVE

The Mi’gmawei Mawiomi underlines that the present observations and comments are submitted without admission of rights and jurisdiction of the province regarding the wind sites and resources of Gespe’gewa’gi and without prejudice to the inherent and constitutional Aboriginal rights and title and Treaty rights of the Mi’gmaq of Gespe’gewa’gi. They are further without admission regarding and without prejudice to the exercise of the said rights. In particular, we explicitly deny that the process and outcome of the allocation of wind power resources in our territory by the Régie, Hydro-Quebec and the Ministry of Natural

Resources fulfils the constitutional obligations of consultation and accommodation and can be constitutionally justified.

4.

A

WIND POWER MEGA

-

PROJECT IN

G

ESPE

GEWA

GI

In its decision D-2006-166, the Régie recognizes the extent of the impact of wind power development for the rights, resources and territory notably of the

Mi’gmaq of Listuguj, Gesgapegiag and Gespeg. In particular, it was recognized that the asserted interests of the First nations “couvre une partie importante du territoire québécois et de son potentiel de vent économiquement exploitable”

(page 19).

The wind power development in virtue of power purchase agreements with

Hydro-Québec together with the largest part of the development under the first

6

Observations and comments of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi

R-3685-2009 call for tenders for a 1000 MW of wind power and the call for tenders for 2000

MW of wind power is located in the traditional territory of the Mi’gmaq of

Gespe’gewa’gi (55% of the 4000 MW proposed for the province). By any measure, this is an energy mega project in Gespe’gewa’gi, involving as it does several thousand MW of installed capacity, investments of over $4 billion and annual revenues topping $800 million, yielding many billions in revenues from our territory over the life of the facilities.

These projects affect directly and massively the territory and interests of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi. Scarce wind sites are being allocated for decades to come. Towers and transmission lines occupy huge swaths of the territory and a major network of roads and infrastructure is being established. For example, the

Carleton project, situated near the coast and between the communities of

Gesgapegiag and Listuguj, is in our front yard and determines the development of crucial resources without our participation.

The Mi’gmawei Mawiomi and its constituent communities of Listuguj,

Gesgapegiag and Gespeg have not been consulted on this development and our rights have not been accommodated. Both the process and the substantive outcome of such resource allocations must reflect the constitutional protection of our rights and the fact of our prior presence in the territory. Our rights and interests include a share in the exercise of jurisdiction regarding such development decisions and the allocation of sites, a share in the revenues generated and a right to be accommodated with respect to entry into this sector of economic development.

In contrast to private wind projects and turbine manufactures owned by interests from outside Gespe’gewa’gi, Mi’gmaq wind development would keep revenues and employment in the region.

7

Observations and comments of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi

R-3685-2009

The failure to take into account the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi and the communities of Gesgapegiag, Gespeg and Listuguj is reflected in the fact that the overall size and structure of the 250 MW call for tenders for Aboriginal projects does not correspond to the financial, technical, economic development and constitutionalized rights context in Gespe’gewa’gi.

This is illustrated by the fact that the successful bids in Gespe’gewa’gi, under the call for tenders A/O 2005-03 range in size from 66 to 300 MW. Listuguj has already prepared and submitted a bid for 125 MW. The 25 MW limit is discriminatory and out of proportion with wind power development in

Gespe’gewa’gi benefitting private developers and Quebec’s municipalities and counties.

The 25 MW limit and even its variants allowing projects of up to 50 MW may be adapted to the needs of remote First Nations without the capacity to take on larger commercial scale projects and who are not subject to a non-Aboriginal wind power mega project. This is not the case for the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi.

So, the proper recognition of the jurisdiction, property interests and economic development role of the Mi’gmaq in Gespe’gewa’gi requires arrangements that will allow larger, economically and technically viable Mi’gmaq projects.

For these reasons, the Chiefs and Councils of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi in

Assembly have confirmed that they reject the present call for tenders that the

Quebec Government is administering through Hydro-Quebec and the Régie.

They do not intend to bid as Quebec limits projects for Aboriginal communities to an installed capacity of 25 MW creating an unprofitable, uncompetitive and

8

Observations and comments of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi

R-3685-2009 discriminatory situation. These projects are restrictive and inequitable when compared to the projects throughout Gespe’gewa’gi. The average installed capacity of projects is 130 MW each, including one project at 211.5 MW and another at 300 MW.

Under reserve of this unequivocal position, the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi submits some specific comments on the call for tenders and the matrix proposed by Hydro-Quebec.

5.

T

HE CALL FOR TENDERS AND

H

YDRO

-Q

UÉBEC

S PROPOSED NON

-

MONETARY

CRITERIA

As a preliminary matter, the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi notes that the terms of this call for tenders are paternalistic and interfere in the internal affairs of

Listuguj, Gesgapegiag, Gespeg and the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi by prescribing in detail the process to be followed internally for decisions to participate in the call for tenders (see: Decree 1044-2008, section 2 defining “aboriginal wind power project”). This is a constitutionally inapplicable infringement of the inherent right of self-government under section 35 of the

Constitution Act, 1982

and is contrary to federal jurisdiction under section 91 (24) of the

Constitution Act, 1867

. The

Régie cannot apply or accept that Hydro-Quebec apply this intrusive legislation.

The Mi’gmawei Mawiomi is also concerned that the amended matrix proposed by Hydro-Quebec does not confirm to the regulation and decree. For example, 25 points are provided for regional and Quebec content above the minimum requirements of the call for tenders. By comparison, only 12 points are provided for the capitalization and First Nation participation over the minimum requirements of the bid. This is an outrage that puts the provincial interest ahead of the Mi’gmaq interest. It is not compatible with the primary purpose pursued by

9

Observations and comments of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi

R-3685-2009 the government, namely favoring Aboriginal involvement in wind power development.

The Régie should require the adjustment of the call for tenders and matrix accordingly.

6.

T

HE INTERVENTION IN THE NAME OF

M

ÉTIS

The Mi’gmawei Mawiomi does not recognize and is not aware of the existence of the Métis community and rights in the Gaspe referred to in this intervention. There is no basis for the demand that the matrix be modified to include Métis projects on equal footing with Aboriginal projects.

7.

C

ONCLUSIONS

The Mi’gmawei Mawiomi therefore submits that the Régie should:

1.

R

ECOGNIZE

that given the scale of wind power development in

Gespe’gewa’gi and the required size of financially and technically viable projects, the present call for tenders and the matrix proposed by Hydro-

Quebec will not meet the objective and constitutional requirement of inclusion in a meaningful way of the Mi’gmaq in decision making, revenues and economic development of the wind power resources of the territory.

2.

R

ECOGNIZE

that the process and resource allocations proposed for call for tenders A/O 2009-01 are incompatible with Mi’gmaq rights and the requirements of the Constitution.

3.

R

EFUSE

consequently to proceed with the treatment of A/O 2009-01 and

R-3685-2009.

10

Observations and comments of the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi

R-3685-2009

4.

A

DVISE

the Government of Quebec and Hydro-Quebec accordingly, further to sections 1, 5 and 42 L.R.E and the

Constitution Acts, 1867 and

1982

.

5.

D

ISMISS

the conclusions sought by the intervention on behalf of Métis.

6.

G

RANT

the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi the costs of its intervention.

T

HE WHOLE RESPECTIALLY SUBMITTED

,

Mi’gmawei Mawiomi

April 9, 2009

11

Download