Pessamit’s Innu Council and EBC jointly announced the signing of a business partnership allowing them to pool and coordinate their efforts to execute works planned by the Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) on the bridges crossing the Betsiamites and Papinachois rivers.
This agreement stems from the Pessamit Council’s intention to promote the economic development of its community and, specifically, to participate in the economy of projects executed on the Nitassinan territory through business opportunities that allow the entire community to benefit from its economic spinoffs. Over the past few months, the Council and EBC held discussions to explore the possibility of establishing a mutually beneficial partnership. These discussions resulted in the agreement that was publicly unveiled on the June 20 press conference held in Pessamit.
“Development on our ancestral territory without our participation is over. Our participation is no longer limited to consultations, we now participate in projects to meet our needs and provide significant economic benefits to our community. I would therefore like to salute EBC’s desire to establish a partnership with us and I wish long life to our new business relationship”, declared Chief Jean-Marie Vollant.
“EBC is proud of its ties forged with First Nations and the constructive exchanges with their leaders. EBC’s reputation is built on solid foundations of mutual trust and transparency. Today, we are privileged to carry out works with the Innu Council of Pessamit, while respecting everyone’s values and interests, for the good of the community,” said Guylaine Dubois, Vice President Operations – Civil Northern Territories, Hydroelectric Québec, Mining, and Aboriginal Relations for EBC.
This partnership will enable us to submit joint bids to the MTQ, which is considering the replacement of both Papinachois and Betsiamites River bridges. More importantly, the agreement provides an employment objective for Pessamit’s Innu members where at least 50% of the jobs (full-time equivalent) is generated by each project. To meet this objective, a training plan for Pessamit’s Innu members will be developed. Pessamit companies will also be prioritized in all available contracts resulting from these projects.
Since 1996, EBC has been actively involved in several large-scale projects in Northern Territories and elsewhere in the James Bay area. Most works are carried out in partnership with First Nations, or their entities created for this purpose, to promote the socio-economic development of its communities by these new projects.
Photo (from left to right): Jérôme Bacon-St-Onge (Councillor – Pessamit Innu Council), Guylaine Dubois (EBC Vice President Operations – Civil Northern Territories, Hydroelectric Québec, Mining, and Aboriginal Relations), Marie-Claude Houle (EBC President and CEO) and Jean-Noël Riverin (Vice-Chief – Pessamit Innu Council).