Aquatic resources

The protection of aquatic resources and water quality are crucial issues in Eeyou Istchee James Bay, where the Cree depend on the quality of water for the pursuit of their traditional activities. Historically, the JBACE regularly reviews these issues. In June 2018, the Government of Québec launched the new Québec Water Strategy 2018-2030, which replaces the National Water Policy of 2002. This new strategy was the subject of consultations in 2017.

Conservation of wetlands and bodies of water

In 2016, the MDDELCC begins consultations on a bill concerning the conservation of wetlands and bodies of water, Bill 132. It proposes a series of initiatives for the conservation and protection of wetlands and bodies of water in Québec. While not being consulted by the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, the JBACE is follows the issue closely.

Recent actions:

  • May 2017: comments on Bill 132 – An act respecting the conservation of wetlands and bodies of water
  • July 2018: comments to the MDDELCC on the draft Regulation regarding compensation for adverse effects on wetlands and bodies of water

Since the 2018 draft regulation only affects southern Quebec, the JBACE will monitor the file and ensure that it is consulted if a similar draft regulation is put in place for the northern regions.

Drinking water quality

In 2017, the Cree Nation Government released a draft regulation concerning the quality of drinking water in the Territory. This bylaw is written to maintain current standards while ensuring the transfer of management to the Cree. It also enables Cree communities to strengthen the management of drinking water resources under a centralized law, with a harmonized procedure in the nine Cree communities.

Recent actions:

  • December 2017: comments on the draft By-Law concerning the Quality of Drinking Water proposed by the Cree Nation Government 

While keeping a close eye on the matter, the JBACE encourages the continuation of discussions between the Cree Nation Government and the provincial and federal governments on the aspects necessary for the effective implementation of the regulation once adopted.