Over the course of the last few years, we’ve talked extensively about why CMP’s NECEC Corridor is a bad deal for Maine. We’d like to highlight the very real human rights crisis happening just north of the border in Quebec at the hand of Hydro-Quebec, which hasn’t received the attention that it deserves. This week, Sun Journal reporter Andrea Sweidom released the powerful story, “Quebec First Nations assert CMP’s corridor will trample ancestral rights.”
For the article, Sweidom interviewed 73-year-old Oscar Kistabish, a member of the Anishnaabe Aki, a tribe with ancestral lands in western Quebec. He tells of the great impact Hydro-Quebec, a company owned by the province of Quebec, has had on his community during his lifetime as they’ve occupied more and more of his tribe’s lands, flooding them without consent or compensation. Without so much as a courtesy warning from Hydro-Quebec, the lands they lived off of for thousands of years were flooded. The rivers they depended on to navigate through the forest were altered resulting in permanent damage was inflicted to the environment and the wildlife they depend on for survival.
Now Hydro-Quebec would like to divert the energy, 36% of which is illegitimately generated on ancestral lands, to Massachusetts via the NECEC corridor. Hydro-Quebec’s priority is to double their profit while the First Nations, who have paid the ultimate price, are left to live in conditions of extreme poverty.
That’s why the Anishnaabe First Nation has joined a coalition with the Innu and Atikamekw to bring attention to the exploitation of their ancestral lands, and to oppose the NECEC corridor.
If you read nothing else this week, please take a few minutes to read this story, and to share it on social media. It’s time for Mainers to see the real face of this foreign corporation that has spent millions to convince Maine voters their power is “clean.” Hydro-Quebec may prefer “to limit public comments on these complex issues,” but we shouldn’t let them sweep this crisis under the rug so they can make more money off of the power they’re generating in violation of the First Nation’s human and constitutional rights.
This week, Senator Rick Bennett and Representative Nicole Grohoski joined forces to send a bipartisan letter to their colleagues pushing back on Hydro-Quebec’s efforts to influence our lawmakers against this referendum effort. As they pointed out, Hydro-Quebec spent an unprecedented $9.2 million through their political action committee this year to influence Maine voters by exploiting a loophole in our election law, and now they’re doubling down on their propaganda effort in Augusta as well.
They also point to the fact that Hydro-Quebec, whose profits are paid to the government of Quebec in dividends each year, has a mission to double their profits by 2030. It’s clear that selling their existing power for more money to Massachusetts via the NECEC corridor is a key way they hope to achieve their profit goal.
There are so many reasons we shouldn’t allow this project to move forward. The fact that Hydro-Quebec clearly cares more about their bottom line than the well-being of the First Nations tribes, whose land they exploit, says volumes about their integrity.
Please join us in thanking Senator Bennett and Representative Grohoski for their willingness to stand up to this outside corporation. We certainly appreciate their support.
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READ HERE: ‘Reimbursement’ Not So Much
We all know that the CMP Corridor is a terrible deal for Maine, but if you want to know just how bad it is, check out this opinion piece by activist Leslie Poole of Rockland. Thanks for this clear and concise breakdown of the bogus ‘benefits’ package, Leslie!
Action Items of the Week
With end of collection deadlines quickly drawing near, let’s dig deep to end 2020 strong! This week, we’re asking our volunteers to:
- Make a plan to collect 40 more signatures by the end of this year
- Turn in all of your notarized documents, either in person or via the mail, so we can get them to town offices for certification
- Sign up to help us deliver petition sin your area by emailing us at email@example.com
As a reminder, Saturday, December 2 is the last day to mail notarized documents to the campaign. Wednesday, January 6 is the final day to turn in notarized documents in person at a turn-in event. If you’re able to deliver petitions to town offices, Monday, January 11 is the absolute last day town clerks can accept them.
Activist of the Week
Last week, Waldo County volunteer Cody Pajic contacted us to let us know that he had collected more than 850 signatures, and that he needed help connecting with a notary to get the petitions turned in to us. We promptly made a plan, and as you can see, this volunteer has been working hard to bring this referendum to the statewide ballot in 2021. We would like to thank Cody for all of his hard work and dedication, and we’d like this to serve as a reminder to all of you that if you’ve been unable to connect with a notary, please let your volunteer coordinator know so we can make a plan to ensure your efforts will count!
Thank you so much for your hard work, Cody! This bundle was a wonderful surprise, just in time for Christmas.
Donate by mail: Check made payable to No CMP Corridor sent to PO Box 471 Farmington, ME 04398
Secure online: Donate at www.NoCMPCorridor.com/donate
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Happy holidays to all!
PO Box 471 Farmington, ME 04938.