Electrification of Lake Rapid: The President says he is optimistic

The Lac-Rapide community is located in La Vérendrie Wildlife Sanctuary, a three-hour drive north of Ottawa, and is home to about 600 people.

Those who rely on diesel generators need to be patient. Faults are frequent and can last for hours or even days. When society can’t fix it on their own, they must summon someone from Montreal to get the energy back.

Housing Needs Dire: No home has been built in Lake Rapids for more than twenty years. The reserve includes about sixty houses, all of which are overcrowded and in poor condition. These living conditions severely affected the mental health of the population.

House in Lake Rapid (archive)

Photo: Courtesy of Tony Wawate

But President Tony Wawate says he is optimistic. He believes the tide may be turned, as Minister of Crown and Aboriginal Relations, Mark MillerHe said he was open to the idea of ​​organizing a meeting in January to discuss the Lake Rapids issues.

claims the community A political commitment to make sure we have what we want: housing and electricity, resume of M. Wawatie.

Connecting the community in a matter of months

Hydro-Quebec has a plan to connect Lac-Rapide to its network, company spokesperson Francis Lappe confirms. Once the Lac-Rapide Council and the Canadian government ask us to connect the community to the Hydro-Quebec master network, we are in a position to do so., He says.

To reach the reserve, the state-owned company will have to reinforce its lines from Grand-Remous, at the southern limit of La Vérendrye, and then add A few tens of kilometers To his network, Mr. Labe adds. The communication cost will not be paid to the community.

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We have work to do. […] But it is not a very complicated task. On the other hand, it still takes several months to get there, continued.

Council passes to the federal government

First and foremost, the Lac-Rapide Band Council wants to sit down with Ottawa to discuss community development, says Tony Wawate.

A feathered Aboriginal leader speaks into the microphone in front of the Canadian Parliament.

Anichinabe community leader in Lac-Rapide, Tony Wawatie (Archives)

Photo: Courtesy of Tony Wawate

He adds that housing condition is one of the things to consider before going ahead with delivery. Houses are infested with mold. Imagine the bill, if we call [au réseau d’Hydro-Québec] : This is the kind of thing we need to discuss, confirms.

Recently, Lac Rapid entered into an economic and social development agreement with Quebec.

I am optimistic. I think there will be a will on the part of the federal government. […] Procedures should follow the sayings in matters of reconciliation. For me, meeting these needs and honoring past commitments is the meaning of reconciliation., concludes President Wawatie.

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