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Vol. 6, No. 2, May 2008

A BUSY spring! Start-up of the Nemiscau-1 instream flow release structure Eastmain 1 reservoir

Methane level drops back to normal! Temporary dike

Work is underway

People with a powerful vision


JL - Flashback. Following the signing of the Paix des Braves agreement in 2002, the heart of the James Bay territory began to beat again to the rhythm of picks and shovels. Nemiscau workcamp, the hub of activity in the James Bay territory, slowly came back to life to serve as a springboard for the Eastmain-1 project. Before long, as more and more workers arrived, those who were nostalgic about phases I and II of the James Bay hydroelectric development started to reminisce about the late “En Grande” or “Laforge-2” magazines.

A unifying magazine

In order to reconnect with these former editions, which traced the daily lives of the dam builders of the Robert Bourassa period in words and pictures, SEBJ public relations pondered the idea of setting up a new site magazine. In summer 2002, that was reason enough to hold a contest asking the workers to find a name for the proposed publication. Several suggestions were then submitted to a local jury, which had to choose between names such as “Camp Camp” (for Cancan [hearsay]), “Les braves”, “Cree Terre” (for Critère [criterion]), “Le bavard [chatterbox] de Nemiscau” and, finally, “Le Miscau”, which was the one selected. Therefore, for more than a year, the first official magazine of the Eastmain-1 jobsite bore a name related to Nemiscau workcamp. Printed in black and white on the workcamp photocopier and designed without any editing software, Le Miscau focused on recreational activities at Nemiscau and Eastmain workcamps, ads and messages of general interest. However, in mid-summer 2003, when Eastmain workcamp was set up, it became obvious that “Le Miscau” was no longer the right name for the magazine. Management proposed a more unifying name that, instead of referring to a specific workcamp, would put the spotlight on the Eastmain-1 jobsite and eventually on Eastmain-1-A/Sarcelle/ Rupert, if it went ahead. And that is how Eastmain Magazine came into being. Le Miscau, Eastmain Magazine’s predecessor

The new start also made it possible to expand the magazine’s writing team and add a graphic designer and a photographer. Of course, that meant that printing the magazine became necessary, as much for the workers at the jobsite as for the wider public and jobsite partners. Published in two languages with a print run of over 5,000 copies and distributed all over Québec, Eastmain Magazine has become a faithful witness to our major accomplishments in the James Bay territory.

Neilson-EBC lands a new contract at Eastmain-1-A jobsite Work is underway! Neilson-EBC has landed the contract to build the temporary dike and excavate the water intake and penstocks of the Eastmain-1-A powerhouse. The contractor is now busy clearing snow from the work area and installing the crusher that will be used to prepare material for the dike. Neilson- EBC is expecting to assign about 100 workers to these jobs.

Supervisor - SEBJ Public Relations Yves Barrette / Artistic Director Bionda Miotto / Editor-in-Chief Jimmy Lavoie 819 672-2200, ext. 3853, lavoie.jimmy@hydro.qc.ca Writers Brian Brousseau, Véronique Gagnon-Piquès, Nathalie Girard, Karine Lemay Contributors France Brûlé, Daniel Lacoursière Translator Margaret Kane Savage / Graphic Design Paul Salois Design / Photographer Paul Brindamour / Printer Imprimerie Lebonfon Eastmain Magazine is published by SEBJ Public Relations for the workers of the Eastmain-1-A/Sarcelle/Rupert project. Internet site: www.hydroquebec.com/rupert Extranet site: www.extranetsebj.ca Eastmain Magazine is printed on chlorine-and acid-free EcoLogo certified paper, made in Québec using biogas energy and containing 100% post-consumer fibre.

2 Eastmain Magazine May 2008

People with a powerful vision


Opinaca reservoir

Muskeg substation

Eastmain workcamp

Eastmain-1 powerhouse

Eastmain-1-A powerhouse Eastmain 1 reservoir

THE JOBSITE IN PICTURES

Eastmain-1-A powerhouse

Eastmain-1-A powerhouse

Full throttle! On April 12th, about 1,026,000 m3 of rock had been excavated from the Eastmain-1-A powerhouse site. Neilson is continuing the drilling, blasting and excavation of bench no. 4. The contractor is also carrying out consolidation work on the excavated benches. Neilson-EBC’s workers are operating at full throttle at Eastmain-1-A jobsite. The contractor is currently running 19 fifty-ton trucks, 15 drills, 4 jumbos and 3 cranes.

Eastmain Magazine May 2008 3


Eastmain 1 reservoir

Rupert tailbay

Rupert diversion jobsite Canals

Canal works

Canal C1

Nemiscau-1 dam

Nemiscau-2 dam Canal C2 Canal C3

Arques dike of Nemiscau-2

Rupert workcamp

Canal C4

Canal-C34

Lemare dam

Several canals have been completed

Canal C5A Canal C5 Canal C6

These include canals C-5 and C-7, where work was completed in early April. On that date, Canal C-6 was over 85% completed. Contractor Fernand Gilbert LtÊe is now concentrating its efforts on about fifteen dikes: LR-43A to LR-56. CCDC’s work on canals C-2, C-3 and C-4 is at the rock and overburden excavation stage and will continue throughout the spring.

4 Eastmain Magazine May 2008

Canal C7

Rupert dam

People with a powerful vision

THE JOBSITE IN PICTURES

Rupert forebay

Transfer tunnel


Eastmain 1 reservoir

Rupert tailbay

Rupert diversion jobsite Rupert spillway

Rupert dam

Canal C1

Nemiscau-1 dam

Nemiscau-2 dam Canal C2 Canal C3

Arques dike of Nemiscau-2

Rupert workcamp

Canal-C34

Lemare dam

Canmec Industriel has now begun installation of the spillway gates. These huge structures will regulate the flow as needed. Water will be released through the central opening at all times, maintaining the Rupert River’s ecological instream flow.

Canal C5A Canal C5 Canal C6 Canal C7

Rupert dam

Eastmain Magazine May 2008 5

THE JOBSITE IN PICTURES

Rupert forebay

Transfer tunnel

An impressive structure Once the temporary shelter that covered it for the winter had been removed, the Rupert spillway was revealed in April. It’s an impressive structure. Don’t forget that EBC-Neilson had to excavate more than 550,000 m3 of rock and pour more than 20,000 m3 of concrete to produce this result.

Canal C4


Rupert diversion jobsite Nemiscau-1

Nemiscau-1 dam

Rupert tailbay

Eastmain 1 reservoir

Canal C1

Nemiscau-1 dam

Nemiscau-2 dam Canal C2 Canal C3

Arques dike of Nemiscau-2

Rupert workcamp

Canal C4

Canal-C34

Water has been flowing through it since April 9, 2007. The structure is now ready to release water into the Nemiscau River at a rate ranging from 4.9 m3/s (minimum instream flow) to 74 m3/s. The structure is operating as a diversion channel to dewater the zone where Hydro-QuÊbec Construction will be erecting Nemiscau-1 dam. Keep in mind that the dam’s core will consist of asphalt concrete rather than till; it will be the first of its kind in North America.

Lemare dam

Canal C5A Canal C5 Canal C6 Canal C7

Rupert dam

6 Eastmain Magazine May 2008

People with a powerful vision

THE JOBSITE IN PICTURES

The instream flow release structure is now operational!

Rupert forebay

Transfer tunnel


Rupert diversion jobsite Transfer tunnel

Transfer tunnel

Rupert tailbay

Eastmain 1 reservoir

Canal C1

Nemiscau-1 dam

Nemiscau-2 dam Canal C2 Canal C3

Arques dike of Nemiscau-2

Rupert workcamp

Canal-C34

Lemare dam

Canal C5A Canal C5 Canal C6 Canal C7

Rupert dam

Eastmain Magazine May 2008 7

THE JOBSITE IN PICTURES

Rupert forebay

Transfer tunnel

The light at the end of the tunnel Full-face drilling and blasting is continuing at the upstream and downstream ends of the tunnel, which will meet in about a month. The workers will finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! The two ends were less than 1 kilometre apart in mid-April.

Canal C4


Rupert workcamp

SBC-EMF got back to work over a month ago. One of its first tasks was to move back to the site of the Lemare River instream flow release structure and to start grouting and concrete work. The purpose of the Lemare instream flow release structure, like similar structures on the Nemiscau River, is to maintain the river’s natural flow while keeping the water diverted from the Rupert River from returning toward the west.

Transfer tunnel

Canal-C34

Lemare dam

Qualitas-Monterval: inspecting the invisible NG - Proud partner of Hydro-Québec/ SEBJ for more than 40 years, QualitasMonterval, a division of Groupe Qualitas, looks after quality control of backfill material and concrete for the Rupert diversion structures. While SEBJ inspectors observe and quantify the tangible portions of the work, Qualitas-Monterval technicians check much more abstract aspects, which are not visible to the naked eye and require specialized equipment. Monitoring tests are carried out at every stage of the work on backfill structures (dikes and dams) and concrete structures. Here are a few examples: - At the borrow pits, technicians ensure that the materials extracted have the required properties. - At the crushing stage, grain-size tests are conducted. - The watertightness of the retaining structures’ foundations is tested and verified.

8 Eastmain Magazine May 2008

Canal C4

Canal C5A Canal C5 Canal C6 Canal C7

- During compacting, tests are carried out on all layers of materials to ensure that the required density is attained. Rupert dam

- During construction of concrete structures, laboratory technicians ensure that the concrete complies with specifications before pouring. Essentially, that means checking whether its fluidity and air content will allow it to resist freeze-thaw cycles. It is also necessary to make sure that the concrete, once it has hardened, attains the appropriate level of resistance. The tests are conducted in three strategically located laboratories. The first is at the Rupert dam and spillway site, the second is near dike LR-12, and the third is beside Norascon’s concrete plant at Km 24. The Rupert jobsite will be teeming with activity in 2008. There will be a considerable amount of work to be done. It is therefore not surprising that the number of Qualitas-Monterval personnel will increase fourfold to more than 60 technicians.

People with a powerful vision

THE JOBSITE IN PICTURES

Work resumes at the Lemare structure

Rupert forebay

Lemare structure

Rupert diversion jobsite

Arques dike of Nemiscau-2


KL - Neilson-EBC has passed the 50% mark of the total volume of rock to be excavated. It is now working on drilling, blasting and excavating the fourth bench. Keep in mind that a bench is an excavation based on vertical drilling.

At the Eastmain-1-A powerhouse, things are rockin’ and rollin’! Nine of these benches have been predefined and divided into horizontal layers at the Eastmain-1-A powerhouse site. Each layer of rock is about 10 metres deep, allowing the rock to be excavated in sections. Neilson-EBC currently has about 160 workers working day and night on this huge contract.

Bench 1 Bench 2

Bench 3 Bench 4b Bench 4a Bench 5b Bench 5a

Bench 6b Bench 7b

Benche 6a

Bench 8b

Bench 7a Bench 8a

Bench 9

KL- Natural environments such as lakes, rivers, streams, forests and peatlands emit greenhouse gases (GHGs). Although reservoir impoundment, because of the decomposition of submerged organic material, leads to a rapid increase in the emission of certain gases over the few first years, the emissions gradually drop to normal levels in less than ten years.

Eastmain 1 reservoir

Methane level drops back to normal

This tower on Marie-Êve Island, about 5-6 km from the spillway in EM 1 reservoir, records GHG data.

Eastmain 1 reservoir has been the subject of an extensive study on GHG emissions since its impoundment in November 2005. The study was designed to determine the level of GHG emissions after creation of the reservoir and to compare it with the data collected from neighbouring natural environments. This study is the first of its kind in the world. It is actually the first time that the quantity of greenhouse gases emitted before and after reservoir impoundment is studied.

natural environments. Additional studies confirmed that, at the end of the first year, the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) was 8 to 10 times higher than in natural environments. After a second ear, this factor had dropped to 3, suggesting excellent results for the year underway.

Study results

We wish them the best of luck!

Many experts in various scientific fields, from private enterprise and university circles, are working with Hydro-Québec Production on this major project.

Two years after the impoundment of the reservoir, a team of scientists noted that the methane level in the reservoir’s water had returned to the normal level observed in lakes in neighbouring

Eastmain Magazine May 2008 9


NG – The well-known “supper of the month” is something of a tradition at the James Bay jobsites. Its festive atmosphere gives the workers a break from the routine of busy workweeks.

The story behind the supper of the month The origin of the supper can be traced to the second phase of work on the James Bay hydroelectric development, at LG-2A. Meals of this type were organized on Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Easter and other statutory holidays. After seeing how much the workers appreciated these occasions and in an effort to standardize the contracts, the administrators decided to introduce the ritual of a special meal in every month that didn’t have a statutory holiday. March and November were two examples.

Historical photo taken at LG-4 during an inaugural supper in the gym

The meal of the month used to be at lunchtime on Sunday or on Saturday evening but, at the request of the night-shift workers, was permanently moved to Saturday evening. After a few adjustments, the supper on the last Saturday of the month is now part of the program for workers at the jobsites. These theme suppers enable the workers to forget, if only for a few hours, that they are far from home at a James Bay jobsite.

NG – Although the supper of the month may be a relaxing time for workers at the James Bay jobsites, it is quite another story for kitchen personnel. At Rupert workcamp, Gestion ADC’s job of preparing that Saturday night supper starts several days beforehand.

The hidden side of the supper of the month “During the preceding month, after a brainstorming session with my team, we choose a theme and work it from every angle: food selection, decoration, general atmosphere”, said Yvan Perron, Executive Chef for Gestion ADC. That’s when the research starts. The chef’s first challenge is to find innovative recipes and to check the availability of certain ingredients and spices fitting in with the chosen theme. The second challenge—or source of stress—relates to when the stock will arrive. “We realize how far away we are when the ingredients don’t arrive with the order. If I were in town, it wouldn’t be a problem—I would go get them myself. But, here, there always has to be a plan B,” added Mr. Perron.

Preparing the supper of the month at Rupert workcamp

Once the ingredients arrive, everyone gets down to work. “We start preparing the recipes on Wednesday. On Thursday, it’s time to get the showpieces ready. On Friday, we make sure that everything is going well and Saturday is the big day of decoration and service. During the supper, the workers are relaxed and happy and let us know how satisfied they are. It’s very encouraging for everyone,” said Mr. Perron. “In a way, the supper of the month gives us an nice pat on the back for the following month.”

10 Eastmain Magazine May 2008

People with a powerful vision


VGP – About 80 Crees from Mistissini, Nemaska and Waskaganish attended manual tree felling and first aid training sessions. They were held at Rupert workcamp from March 17th until mid-April.

CREE TRAINING SESSIONS

Felling and first aid The sessions were divided into two parts. The theory was taught in a classroom setting. The students were then asked to apply what they had learned about tree felling in the bush. Their teacher, Paul Cyr, said that he was more than satisfied. “The students had felled trees before, but they were impressed by the new techniques I could teach them. Some of the students even shortened their lunch

breaks to get back to the practical part. I find that motivating,” he said.

over an area of more than 1,000 hectares throughout the territory.

The manual tree felling training session will end during the summer, when the workers will be monitored to make sure that they continue to apply what they learned during their training.

The Cree School Board, the Niskamoon Corporation and the Cree Human Resource Development service are funding this activity. The training sessions were given by personnel of the Commission scolaire du Pays-desBleuets.

Both training sessions are important, since at least 130 Crees are expected to be manually felling trees this summer

JL - At the end of 2007, the Société d’énergie de la Baie James got a perfect score when the application of its environmental management system was audited, and was therefore able to renew its ISO 14001 certification.

Renewing SEBJ’s certification The conclusions of the external audits were very favourable and the reports did not reveal any cases of nonconformity. In addition, the auditor made no comments and did not mention a single point to be improved. “He pointed out several times how very carefully SEBJ personnel integrated environmental considerations at all stages of the project,” noted the Director of Eastmain Projects, Normand Béchard.

ISO 14001

Mr. Béchard underlined that, of all the accomplishments of Hydro-Québec and SEBJ, the Eastmain-1-A/Sarcelle/Rupert project was the one where they had gone to the greatest lengths in applying the concept of sustainable development. “This outcome shows the skill of the team that is carrying out this great project. I would like to thank everyone who participated in the audit and who made it a success,” noted Normand Béchard.

Eastmain Magazine May 2008 11


KL - What’s different about Gordon Chiasson and Michel Leblanc? Very little, except that the former works for Neilson-EBC and the latter for SEBJ. Although they don’t have the same employer, these two surveyors appear to take real pleasure in working toward a common goal—building the Eastmain-1-A powerhouse. That’s a nice confirmation that teamwork is the key to success at the James Bay jobsites.

« GOOSE BREAK » Back to the bush

VGP – Goose break fever is affecting the Crees again. Every year, in late April and early May, the nine communities mobilize. Everyone heads for the bush because the geese are back. Goose Break has begun “For most Crees, goose hunting is a favourite activity. Families get together on their trapline and everyone adds to the excitement underway. Young people and elders—everyone is there!” says George Bordeleau, Section Manager of Cree Relations at Rupert workcamp.

A rocksolid team! It’s 9:30 a.m.— time for the morning break at the jobsite. Gordon and Michel are waiting patiently for me at the SEBJ office. I am immediately impressed by what I see: the obvious cooperation between the two men. The conversation is friendly, taps on the shoulder are frequent and the atmosphere is very relaxed. After a few questions to find out a little more about them, I asked THE question of the interview: Between the contractors and the prime contractor, is there any team spirit and do they really enjoy working together? “That’s the secret!” Gordon stated without any hesitation. Michel totally agreed. He explained that they had to work in partnership to obtain quality results that would be up to standard and comply with the plans they had received. “We each know what we have to do. One takes readings; the other checks them. It’s part of the job!” confirmed Michel.

12 Eastmain Magazine May 2008

According to Gordon, Michel’s work is essential, since it validates his data and allows the workers to carry out their jobs in a safe and compliant manner. The monitoring ensures that no steps are skipped. After a nice half hour spent in their company, the break was already over. I think I discovered the “secret” Gordon was telling me about. They truly respect each other’s work, both with regard to production and monitoring. Before leaving, when I asked for permission to take their picture, they spontaneously clasped hands, grinning proudly. Mission accomplished—the interview was a success!

The break lasts almost a month. Administrative offices and schools close in the communities. Only essential services are maintained. The Crees come back a few times to fetch supplies and take showers! In the bush, roles are well defined. Generally speaking, men do the hunting. Geese are not the only prey; muskrat and beaver are also prized. Women look after the camp. They pluck the geese and prepare the meat. Everyone takes advantage of the opportunity to relax and reconnect with nature. Every season has its special features. In spring, geese are the focus… soon, the fish will be spawning. Native peoples have adapted to the rhythm of the seasons and have significant activities for each one.

People with a powerful vision


Cree relations

Natimachew Siwin means “helping each other” in Cree. It’s also the name of a partnership initiative between the Niskamoon Corporation and Société d’énergie de la Baie James. The two companies have decided to work together for four years to organize coaching activities as part of the Rupert diversion project. It is the first initiative of its kind. The activities of Natimachew Siwin will involve all the workcamps—Eastmain, Nemiscau, Rupert and, soon, Sarcelle.

Activities will begin this spring at Rupert workcamp. They will progressively be expanded to the other workcamps. Natimachew Siwin will shortly be hiring two Cree coordinators who will be responsible for initiating the construction of traditional buildings, known as “sabtuans”, where most of the activities will be held. In 2009, another coordinator will be joining the team. The program also includes “mokoshans” where traditional food will be prepared. This component is intended to promote both our cultures through intercultural activities such as traditional Cree meals prepared with the help of elders, who will have the opportunity to show their age-old knowledge, or typical Québec meals prepared in the “sabtuan”. Participants will alternate between being hosts and guests. Recreational activities will also be part of the “mokoshans”. At the Niskamoon Corporation’s request, French classes will be available for Cree workcamp residents as part of Natimachew Siwin.

In Loving Memory of

Walter July Robertson Gunner 13, 1963–May 1, 2007 On Tuesday, May 1, 2007 around 8 a.m., there was a lot of activity going on in Heaven. God was smiling, more than usual, and was eagerly awaiting a very special soul. He turned to one of His most trusted angels and with joy said, «It’s time. Bring him home.» All of the angels, except a little one, ran with haste to prepare a magnificent homecoming. In a few weeks, it’s going to be 1 year since he has left this world to be with our Heavenly Father. It hasn’t been very easy, especially when we hear his song, when we have his favorite meal. We still often wonder… What were you thinking, did you know the end was in sight? Did God come to you and say it was your time? And there you stood at the pearly gates in line, looking down at us all in tears, and you wanted to come and calm all our fears, for now you’re in a place so beautiful, so clean, a place where God can be seen, we never thought this would happen in a million years. Dear friends, family & co-workers,

In addition, wellness activities (talking circles, sweat tents, health walks) and workshops on various themes will be organized during the four years we will be living side by side. Finally, elders and speakers will occasionally share their life experiences, their successes and their know-how.

We want to express our sincere gratitude for the thoughtful gifts you sent. The flowers truly brighten the room and lift our moods. We know Walter would appreciate your kind gestures. He spoke often of his friendships with his many co-workers; we know you all meant a great deal to him. Many of you expressed such beautiful sentiments that we have no trouble seeing why Walter enjoyed his work so much. Being surrounded by people like you was a large part of why Walter liked to go to work each day.

Meegwetsh!

Thank you all so much for your kind words, your generous gifts, and most of all, for your friendship with Walter. Knowing you will miss him too makes our burdens a bit easier to bear.

Nii George P. Bordeleau Section Manager - Cree Relations Rupert workcamp

From: Margaret B. Gunner, Children and Grand Children

Eastmain Magazine May 2008 13


Gilles Massicotte

Industrial Security From reality to fiction

who showed me how to write. She then encouraged me to write and to enter a book award contest in Abitibi,” said Mr. Massicotte. Gilles Massicotte therefore set out to write a historical novel about the largest internment camp in Québec during World War I, L’Abitibi défendue. In fact, he won the Prix littéraire de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue in 1998. A second historical novel, about the worst mine disaster in 20th-century Québec, East Malartic, followed. He then wrote a series of detective novels, Montre et Magouilles, a few of which were inspired by real-life incidents that marked his career. “When I was still smoking a lot, I would get up in the morning, pour some coffee, light a cigarette… and then I would start writing. I could work at it all day. You get so attached to your characters! It’s as though they lived with you,” he admitted. For now, the special constable has no projects in mind. “My first historical novels were very well received. If I write another, it will have to be just as good. I haven’t found the right subject yet,” he said. Meanwhile, a document on investigative techniques, “Crapules et compagnie”, will be published on May 23rd in Val-d’Or.

VGP – Gilles Massicotte has a long history in law enforcement. Before being a special constable for Hydro-Québec, he worked as patrol officer, detective and deputy director for the Val-d’Or police force. In the mid-90s, he even founded his own private detective agency. “What I like about this job is the process of searching for clues, analyzing files, gathering evidence…,” he stated. This is most likely what led him, along the way, to develop another passion—writing historical fiction. “An author in Abitibi contacted me to get my opinion about a detective novel she had just finished writing. She’s the one

14 Eastmain Magazine May 2008

Gilles Massicotte’s novels are available at the sports centre library, at Rupert workcamp.

As long as there is work to do JL – The “dam builders” like what they do. They are proud of what has been accomplished as part of the megaproject. And no wonder! But are they ready to keep working on hydroelectric structures at James Bay for a long time? To find out, a survey was conducted in March and April. From March 15 to April 7, workers at the Eastmain-1-A/Sarcelle/Rupert jobsites could express an opinion by answering the following question: “How long do you plan to work on hydroelectric projects? They could answer on the SEBJ Extranet site www.extranetsebj.ca. Of the 60 people who answered the question, more than 31 (52%) stated that they would stay as long as there was work to do. More than 7% answered that they would stay for over five years, while 11 % would stay two years and more, 27 % would stay more than one year and, finally, 3% would stay more than 6 months. The next question you will be asked is the following: “What type of hydroelectric structure do you find most impressive?”.

The virtual store is now online * Buy items with the Eastmain-1-A/Sarcelle/Rupert logo - Clothing - Promotional articles

- Gifts - Documentation

http://www.boutique.extranetsebj.ca/ * French only

People with a powerful vision


What is meant by due diligence? Due diligence is the degree of judgment, care, prudence, resolve, and action that can reasonably be expected from a person under certain circumstances. In terms of occupational health and safety, due diligence means that employers must take every reasonable precaution, under specific circumstances, to prevent injuries or accidents in the workplace. This also applies to situations that are not addressed elsewhere in health and safety legislation. To exercise due diligence, an employer must implement a plan to identify the hazards to which its personnel could be exposed and the appropriate corrective measures to be taken to prevent accidents or injuries arising from these hazards. Why does due diligence have special significance? It is important as a legal defence for any person charged with an offence under occupational health and safety legislation. A defendant may be found not guilty if it can be proved that due diligence was exercised. In short, the defendant must be able to prove that every reasonable precaution was taken under the circumstances to protect the health and safety of workers. The employer must monitor the workplace and ensure that employees are following policies, practices and procedures. A written record of all progressive sanctions issued for breaches of safety regulations is considered due diligence. The employer obviously has many obligations, but workers also have responsibilities. They have a duty to take reasonable care to ensure their own safety and that of their co-workers. In other words, they must follow safe work practices and comply with regulations.

Cell phones

behind the wheel Since April 1st, using a hand-held cellular phone behind the wheel is prohibited. Several reasons led the Québec government to take a position on this issue. According to a study conducted in Québec, a driver using a cell phone is 38% more likely to get into an accident. The risk of violating the Highway Safety Code also increases. In fact, using a hand-held cell phone affects a driver’s performance in many ways: - Increasing braking time in critical circumstances - Making it difficult to drive straight or avoid obstacles on the road - Reducing field of vision and acuity The new regulation applies to all devices with a telephone function, including Blackberry-type devices. However, using a “hands-free” cell phone or device is allowed in Québec. The James Bay jobsites are not exempt from this new regulation. Road safety laws and regulations are applied to guarantee the road is safe for everyone. More info: http://www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca/prevention/ cellulaire/index.php General management Industrial Security - Hydro-Québec

The occupational safety team

Journal Eastmain, May 2008 5


Monitoring big game in 2008

To comply with commitments made in the impact assessments of the Eastmain-1 and Eastmain-1-A/ Sarcelle/Rupert projects, Hydro-QuĂŠbec developed big-game monitoring programs. They are intended to evaluate the actual consequences of impoundment of Eastmain 1 reservoir and Rupert forebay and tailbay, land clearing, construction of structures, hunting, and natural disasters such as forest fires.

Airborne inventories carried out in winter show how the environment is used by moose and caribou. The inventories identify the distribution of populations, estimate their density and establish their structure. The data collected is used to catalogue the habitat of these large mammals, in addition to finding out about their access to work areas and potential habitat. Monitoring of big game around the reservoir and the structures related to Eastmain-1 powerhouse was undertaken from 2002 to 2008. The focus was mostly on moose, considering its relative abundance in the study area. To date, the results have revealed that the moose population and food and habitat availability have not been significantly affected by the project, overall. Of course, the loss of habitat due to reservoir impoundment and forest fires is partly responsible for displacing populations from around the reservoir to the northwest and west of the region affected by the project. The forest fires also influenced the distribution of caribou, which do not frequent recently burned zones. However, the reservoir, roads and transmission line rights-ofway facilitate their travels. In addition, there were 30 times more individuals than in 2002, although there were three

times fewer than in 2004. This year, the fieldwork extended from March 4 to 20. Helicopter-borne surveys of the traplines, conducted with the tallyman or a designated representative,

made it possible to inventory the caribou and moose present there. The preliminary results for Eastmain-1 show that there are still many caribou in the territories under study. As for moose, 307 individuals were observed, which is 13 more than the number inventoried in 2006. In the area of the Rupert forebay and tailbay, monitoring operations for big game, particularly caribou, began in 2008; they included detection of

networks of caribou trails and counting and categorizing of individuals by gender and age, conditions permitting. According to the Eastmain-1-A/Sarcelle/ Rupert project’s impact assessment, the impoundment of the Rupert forebay and tailbay will cause the displacement of big game following the loss of a 43-km2 habitat much frequented by moose

and a 95-km2 winter habitat frequently used by caribou. Nevertheless, these losses affect a limited portion of the very favourable habitat in the forebay and tailbay areas. In addition, replacement habitat is available nearby. Despite the

loss of habitat, the traveling patterns of moose should not be affected by the impoundment. The movements of certain migratory caribou will be affected during the summer, but the presence of the forebay and tailbay will be an advantage in the winter. The environment team


SEBJ Jrnal Ang Mai 08