The James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement

In 1972, the Cree and Inuit joined forces to stop the James Bay Project – a mega hydroelectric development project on the East Coast of James Bay, Quebec – that threatened the environment and the way of life of the Indigenous communities living in the area, the impacts of which are still felt today.

Peter Hutchins and Monique Caron of this firm represented the Cree and Inuit in their efforts to have Bill 50 (the James Bay Region Development Act) declared unconstitutional and to obtain an injunction from the Court to halt the project. A series of court challenges, leading up to the Supreme Court, resulted in the signing of an Agreement -in-Principle on 21 November 1974, and the signing of the historic James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) on 11 November 1975.

Peter Hutchins and Monique Caron also acted as negotiators of the JBNQA – the first modern comprehensive land claims agreement in Canada which has served as a model for future agreements. Hutchins Legal Inc. continues to be involved in the implementation of the JBNQA and the negotiation of Complementary Agreements to the JBNQA.