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Claude Bechard, Canada's minister of natural resources and wildlife, has announced the adoption of a decree aimed at identifying the concerns of First Nations in regards to the economic repercussions associated with wind energy. This decree concerns the set-aside market of 250 MW of energy to be produced by wind power, which falls within the scope of the Quebec government's Energy Strategy of May 2006.

Ghislain Picard, regional chief of the Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, states that it is a step in the right direction.

"We wish to underline the openness shown by the minister of natural resources in this file, and the understanding of issues we are confronted with," says Picard. "However, the past has taught us that many other interveners have an influence on the process and that only the final outcome will confirm if our respective efforts have borne fruits."

Picard refers to the outcome of the first and second call for tenders of Hydro-Quebec in the area of wind energy, as well as the initiatives taken before the energy board, which have all concluded with peripheral economic repercussions for the First Nations of Quebec.

The approach advocated during the discussions between the parties aims at maximizing the economic repercussions for the First Nations of Quebec and supports the adoption of an approach that is more inclusive in regards to the First Nations of Quebec, in terms of consultation.

SOURCE: The Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador

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