In the 15th century Pope Nicholas V sanctioned and promoted the conquest, colonization, and exploitation of non-Christian territories and peoples. European countries used this Doctrine of Discovery to claim the New World and European companies partnered with American colonists to exploit indigenous land and people.

In the 21st century the Spanish company, Iberdrola, through Avengrid, is partnering with Central Maine Power and dealing with Hydro-Quebec, which has exploited indigenous land and people in areas flooded for hydropower (legitimized in the James Bay Northern Quebec Agreement, after flooding had begun), leaving Cree and Innui to more or less subsist on fishing and hunting and leaving out the Attikamekw and others.

I don’t speak for Canada’s indigenous nations, but I question fairness of whether they benefit at the level of the Iberdrola, Avengrid, and CMP stockholders and Massachusetts consumers. With the corridor, foreign companies and stockholders make huge profits, Massachusetts gets cheaper electricity, and Maine gets a small share to appear to benefit. Beyond economic, environmental, climate crisis, and ecological arguments pro and con, how much is the current corridor plan based on a wrong relationship with the Canadian tribes in the flooded territories?

We must address climate crises, but this should be done with fair treaties (e.g., bilingual, between sovereign nations, respectful of indigenous decision-making, etc.). This should not involve foreign or U.S. corporations diverting huge profits from our financial resources for infrastructure and the common good. This should be part of an overall plan for conservation and sustainability.

We shouldn’t settle for a bad deal, but instead vote yes on the referendum to enable our legislators to represent us and advocate for a good deal that is in right relationship with all, with the environment, and with future generations.


Mark Rains


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