October 16, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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North Coast | New legal status to better protect the Magpie River

North Coast |  New legal status to better protect the Magpie River

The Magpie River on the north coast gained international legal recognition on Tuesday for protecting the watercourse, which is particularly threatened by hydropower dam projects.




Eric-Pierre ChampagneEric-Pierre Champagne
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Regarded as one of the 10 best rivers on the planet for practicing whitewater activities, the Magpie enjoys the status of a “legal personality” thanks to two resolutions passed by the Inu Council of Equanimity and MRC de Mingani.

Both resolutions are based on municipal, provincial and international law. The process is supported by the International Observatory for Natural Rights, with offices in Montreal.

Such an effort to legalize natural rights has already begun in New Zealand, the United States and Ecuador. The protection of the Magpie River, which has the status of a “legal person”, is the first of its kind in Canada.

“This is a paradigm shift,” said Jenny Cardanos, president of the International Observatory for Natural Rights. The groups are claiming that they now have the legal basis to better protect the Magpie River.

“For us, it’s a way to get things in hand and look forward to the Quebec and Hydro – Quebec government,” said Alain Branchaud, general manager of the Society’s Law Nature at Les Parks in Quebec. In this project.

This recognition is the result of a collaboration between Inukitshit’s Innu Council and MRC de Mingani.

The crying of the heart

“What we are hearing about is not only the economy, the economy, but also the environment and the protection of nature. We need to get out of the perpetual struggle between the economy and the environment, ”Jean-Charles Piatacho, another community leader of Equinoxit, told a news conference.

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MRC de Mingney, Crying from the Echoing Heart of Luke Noel’s Prefect. “We want to protect our ecosystems. We do not want to be a reservoir for hydro-Quebec.”

When a project to protect more than 2,600 km2 was submitted, two elected officials blamed the Quebec government for not taking advantage of the opportunity to grant protected area status to the Magpie River.

Both resolutions are responsible for the appointment of river keepers, to ensure Magpie’s legal rights, but also to provide more decentralized stewardship and development. The wards are appointed by the Inuktitut’s Innu Council and MRC de Mingani.

290 km long, the river is located in Labrador and flows into St. Lawrence in the village of Riviere-Saint-Jean-Magpie in Mingani.