N.L. and federal governments, Innu Nation reach agreement, injunction will be dropped

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Innu Nation Grand Chief Etienne Rich, Deputy Grand Chief Mary Ann Nui and Chief Eugene Hart stand outside of Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John's in August. (Submitted by Greg Locke - image credit)
Innu Nation Grand Chief Etienne Rich, Deputy Grand Chief Mary Ann Nui and Chief Eugene Hart stand outside of Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John's in August. (Submitted by Greg Locke - image credit)
Submitted by Greg Locke
Submitted by Greg Locke

The Innu Nation, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the federal government have reached an agreement that will provide for consultation with the Innu Nation on the financial restructuring of the Lower Churchill projects, said the three parties in a joint statement Wednesday evening.

As part of the agreement, the Innu Nation has agreed to discontinue underlying litigation and withdraw its injunction application against the $5.2 billion agreement-in-principle Muskrat Falls rate mitigation deal.

The Innu Nation originally announced its intention to sue in August, saying the provincial and federal governments failed in their duty to consult with the Innu Nation on the deal.

In 2008, the Innu Nation made an agreement with Nalcor that would give it a percentage of the profits from the Lower Churchill projects. The new mitigation deal could threaten the financial benefits that the Innu Nation would receive as a part of its deal with Nalcor, said Innu Nation Grand Chief Etienne Rich.

"When the Newfoundland and Labrador government talks about collaboration … there is no collaboration, because this is where we end up," Rich told reporters outside the St. John's courthouse in mid-September, during the litigation process.

The new joint agreement comes after all three parties asked Judge Alexander MacDonald to defer a decision on the injunction on Friday, Sept. 24.

When the Muskrat Falls mitigation deal was announced in July, government officials said they hoped to finalize the deal by the end of September. On Monday, the Department of Industry, Energy and Technology released a statement indicating that deadline would not be met.

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