Innu Na­tion wants trans­mis­sion line on north coast of Labrador

Vale un­der­ground mine an­nounce­ment im­pe­tus for pro­posal

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - Front Page - BY EVAN CAREEN

With Vale an­nounc­ing plans to move for­ward on the con­struc­tion of an un­der­ground mine, the Innu Na­tion thinks it’s time to run a trans­mis­sion line along the north coast of Labrador.

Innu Na­tion Grand Chief Gre­gory Rich told The Labradorian that with the in­creased power de­mands Vale will have and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment push to­wards clean en­ergy, now is the per­fect time to bring this ini­tia­tive for­ward.

Not that it’s a new idea, he said.

“It’s been on our agenda for many years and it’s time we present this to the stake­hold­ers, like Nal­cor, Vale, the provin­cial gov­ern­ment and Nu­natsi­avut,” he said. “It’s a great op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple in Labrador.”

Rich said there are nu­mer­ous ben­e­fits to hav­ing Nat­u­ashish and other com­mu­ni­ties in the area off diesel, such as cost and im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment.

“We will have power to the north coast that will re­duce green­house gas emis­sions,” he said. “We through­out the north are con­cerned about it too and we want to do some­thing.

“We’ve been on diesel gen­er­a­tors for many, many years and its time the north coast take part in up­grades from ei­ther Muskrat or the Up­per Churchill and have a clean en­ergy source.”

North coast com­mu­ni­ties have en­coun­tered prob­lems with gen­er­a­tors in re­cent years, Rich said, and the fuel is very ex­pen­sive.

“Over all the years the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has spent a lot of money on that fuel and if we change that power to Nat­u­ashish and nearby com­mu­ni­ties it would be clean en­ergy for all com­mu­ni­ties in­volved,” he said.

Rich said the Innu Na­tion has spo­ken to some of the other stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing Nal­cor. A meet­ing has been planned to take place in Happy Val­leyGoose Bay to dis­cuss the is­sue with all stake­hold­ers.

Not only would the pro­posed trans­mis­sion line bring power to the coast, Rich said it could open the door to the po­ten­tial for in­creased in­ter­net speeds and a road on the north coast. But right now, they’re fo­cus­ing on the trans­mis­sion line.

“We’re try­ing to get the ball rolling, and if is­sues come up along the way and all par­ties agree, we will deal with those is­sues as they come,” he said.

The Labradorian con­tacted the Nu­natsi­avut Gov­ern­ment about the pro­posal and they had no com­ment at this time. Nal­cor En­ergy did not re­spond to The Labradorian by press time.

FILE PHOTO

The Innu Na­tion is propos­ing a trans­mis­sion line be built along the north coast of Labrador.

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