Quebec judge issues interim order to halt McGill project over Mohawk's concerns

A Quebec High Court judge has ordered a temporary halt to excavation work on a major McGill University project after an Indigenous group raised concerns about the possibility of an unmarked grave.

Judge Gregory Moore granted a provisional injunction Thursday night following a request from a group of elders from Kahnawake known as the Mohawk Mothers.

Kimberly R. Murray, federally appointed independent special counsel for missing children and unmarked grave sites, said in an interview Friday that the judge had asked the parties to prepare a ground search plan to locate unmarked burials.

The Mohawk Mothers filed a lawsuit in court in March against McGill and the Société québécoise des infrastructures, a provincial body that supports public infrastructure projects.

During hearings this week, attorneys representing McGill and the infrastructure firm argued that there was no evidence of an unmarked grave at or near the site of the former Royal Victoria Hospital, which McGill plans to turn into a research, teaching and learning center.

The Mohawk Mothers claim to have found evidence through interviews with survivors of the MK-Ultra mind control experiments conducted in the 1950s and 1960s by Dr. Ewen Cameron at the Allan Memorial Institute in the Royal Victoria grounds.

Murray, who applied for intervention status in the case in August, said the judge accepted his request and he would take part in conference sessions and meetings with the parties.

McGill University declined to comment and referred all inquiries to the provincial infrastructure company, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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