...why the stock is dropping (again) ..

Feb 14 Montreal Gazette  - "Quebec - Yves-François Blanchet, Quebec’s environment minister, indicated Thursday that the Parti Québécois government wants to order a consultation on uranium mining in the province.Blanchet said the consultation is still in the “reflection stage,” but hinted it could take the form of a “generic BAPE” consultation.

 

The BAPE is Quebec’s environmental-impact body, the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement. It usually conducts consultations on the environmental impact of specific projects. A generic BAPE would look at the issue of uranium mining without reference to a specific project.

“We would be irresponsible not to,” Blanchet added.

 

The issue came up in National Assembly committee hearings on the spending estimates of the environment department.

Jacques Marcotte, Liberal MNA for Portneuf riding near Quebec City, accused Blanchet’s department of blocking the Matoush uranium project in the James Bay region. Located 275 kilometres north of Chibougamau and 210 kilometres northeast of Mistissini, the mine project is in territory covered by the James Bay Northern Quebec Agreement and has not received the approval of the Cree First Nation.

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Strateco is suing Blanchet, in his capacity as environment minister, because Blanchet will not give his consent to Strateco’s application to do exploration work, its first phase in developing the mine. But the minister added that the social acceptability of the Matoush uranium mine has to be taken into consideration.

 

“And the Cree community does not give its social acceptance,” Blanchet said, adding that the Crees “vehemently oppose” Matoush.

 

In addition to Strateco’s mandamus suit, seeking to compel Blanchet to approve the Matoush uranium mine, the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and other Cree authorities are intervening in the case between the company and the Quebec government.

The Crees argue they have not given their consent, because the uranium mine, which will mean the processing of nuclear fuel and will leave radioactive mine tailings, will create a problem of nuclear waste.

They also argue that the James Bay Northern Quebec Agreement is more comprehensive than Quebec’s Environmental Quality Act “and prevails because of its constitutional status.”

 

Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent has given Matoush a green light, saying it is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. Kent has accepted mitigation measures proposed by Strateco.

Ugo Lapointe, of the environmentalist group Québec Meilleure Mine, said in a telephone interview Thursday the Cree have been preparing their court case for months and their opposition “is not a negotiating position."