Schefferville, Quebec

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Schefferville
City
Schefferville Pierre Bouchard.JPG
Schefferville is located in Côte-Nord Region Quebec
Schefferville
Schefferville
Location in Côte-Nord Region of Quebec.
Coordinates: 54°48′N 66°50′W / 54.800°N 66.833°W / 54.800; -66.833Coordinates: 54°48′N 66°50′W / 54.800°N 66.833°W / 54.800; -66.833[1]
Country  Canada
Province  Quebec
Region Côte-Nord
RCM Caniapiscau
Settled 1953
Constituted August 1, 1955
Government[2]
 • Administrator Paul Joncas
 • Federal riding Manicouagan
 • Prov. riding Duplessis
Area[2][3]
 • Total 39.00 km2 (15.06 sq mi)
 • Land 25.11 km2 (9.70 sq mi)
Population (2011)[3]
 • Total 213
 • Density 8.5/km2 (22/sq mi)
 • Pop 2006-2011 Increase 5.4%
 • Dwellings 178
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal code(s) G0G 2T0
Area code(s) 418 and 581
Highways No major routes
Website http://www.ville-schefferville.ca/
Schefferville/Matimekosh Montagnais centre

Schefferville is a town in the Canadian province of Quebec. Schefferville is in the heart of the Naskapi and Innu territory in northern Quebec, less than 2 km from the border with Labrador on the north shore of Knob Lake. It is located within the Caniapiscau Regional County Municipality and has an area of 25.11 square kilometres (9.70 sq mi). Schefferville completely surrounds the autonomous community of Matimekosh and it abuts the small community of Lac-John Reserve. Both communities are First Nations reserves. It is also close to the Naskapi reserved land of Kawawachikamach.

The isolated town is not connected to the provincial road network but is accessible by airplane via the Schefferville Airport or by train. Schefferville is the northern terminus of Tshiuetin Rail Transportation (formerly operated by the Quebec North Shore & Labrador (QNS&L) Railway) with service to Labrador City.

McGill University operates the McGill Subarctic Research Station in Schefferville.

History[edit]

Schefferville was established as a town by the Iron Ore Company Of Canada in 1954 to support the mining of rich iron ore deposits in the area. The original settlement was called "Burnt Creek" and was located some miles to the north of the current location of the town of Schefferville. When the plans were drawn up for the town, it was originally called "Knob Lake" after a prominent iron ore outcropping visible on a prominent hill south of the town site, but the name Schefferville was adopted in honour of (Roman Catholic) Bishop Lionel Scheffer, who served as the Vicar Apostolic of Labrador from March 14, 1946, until his death on October 3, 1966.[1]

At the time of the town's founding, Innu from Maliotenam and Naskapi from Fort Chimo were resettled to Schefferville to assist with geological exploration work and the railway construction. Following many years of neglect and destitute poverty, in 1968 parts of the town were set aside for them as a reserve. By 1972, housing units had been built, and most of the Naskapi and Innu moved to this new site, known today as Matimekosh Reserve.[4]

For some years in the late 1950s, NORAD operated a radar station in Schefferville as part of the MEW (Middle Early Warning) or Mid-Canada Line, part of North America's defences against possible Soviet attack across the arctic.

At its peak in the late 1960s, Schefferville counted some 5,000 residents. But iron ore mining ceased there in 1982, on orders from the then president of the Iron Ore Company, Brian Mulroney, who later became Prime Minister of Canada. Most of the 4,000 or so non-aboriginal occupants left, leaving mostly aboriginal people who had settled there in the preceding 30 years. In 1986, the town even ceased to exist as an incorporated legal entity, but this decision was reversed in 1990. Some houses and public facilities were demolished, while other parts of the infrastructure were added to the Matimekosh Reserve.[1] Many of the remaining houses in the town are used by companies in the iron industry to house their staff.

Demographics[edit]

At the Canada 2011 Census, Schefferville had a population of 213 inhabitants, an increase of 5.4 percent from the 2006 census total of 202. In comparison, Matimekosh had a population of 540 and Lac-John, 21. The town counted 110 private dwellings occupied by usual residents out of a total of 178.[3]

Many Naskapi first nation people mostly live in the village of Kawawachikamach, northwest of Schefferville. They are mostly Anglican and Protestant and speak English as their second language. The other first nation tribe, residing mainly in Schefferville and Matimekosh, are the Montagnais who are largely Roman Catholic and speak French as their second language.

Naskapi and Montagnais/Innu are, generally, mutually intelligible. Most local inhabitants are able to speak varying amounts of all the local languages, and code-switching is common in conversation. The breakdown of mother tongues is:[5]

  • English as first language: 17.1%
  • French as first language: 43.9%
  • English and French as first language: 4.9%
  • Other as first language: 34.1%

Population trend:[6]

  • Population in 2011: 213 (2006 to 2011 population change: +5.4 %)
  • Population in 2006: 202
  • Population in 2001: 240
  • Population in 1996: 578
  • Population in 1991: 303

Notable residents[edit]

Albert Cormier was the police commissioner of Schefferville and the superintendent of Iron Ore Co. He died in May 2008 at the age of 79.

The controversial mid-20th century Quebec premier, Maurice Duplessis, died in Schefferville on September 7, 1959. His government was defeated the following year while being led by his second of two successors, the first having died in January 1960.

Recent developments[edit]

As a result of increased demand for steel and iron ore there are currently two official projects to re-establish mining operations out of Schefferville.

The first is the LabMag Iron Ore Project in Labrador, 30 kilometres west of Schefferville. The objective is to develop mining and concentrating near Schefferville that will mine 33 million tonnes of crude iron ore per year to produce 10 million tonnes per year of concentrate and pellets for a minimum of 20 years. Actual mining production began in 2011. The Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach owns 20% of The LabMag Iron Ore Project.

In addition, Anglesey Mining is awaiting the grant of final operational permits on its former Iron Ore Company of Canada deposits. Production is scheduled to start during late summer 2010, with output rising to two or three million tons of ore a year by 2012 before further deposits are developed. Innu protesters blocked access to Schefferville in July 2010 and delayed mining preparation with demands for increased compensation for the commercial exploitation of their traditional homelands.

Climate[edit]

Schefferville experiences a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc) with very long, frigid winters and short, cool to mild summers.

Climate data for Schefferville Airport (1981−2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 5.1
(41.2)
5.1
(41.2)
9.4
(48.9)
13.1
(55.6)
28.3
(82.9)
34.3
(93.7)
31.7
(89.1)
28.7
(83.7)
26.7
(80.1)
20.6
(69.1)
9.8
(49.6)
5.0
(41)
34.3
(93.7)
Average high °C (°F) −19.2
(−2.6)
−17
(1)
−9.7
(14.5)
−1.0
(30.2)
5.9
(42.6)
13.4
(56.1)
17.1
(62.8)
16.1
(61)
9.6
(49.3)
1.6
(34.9)
−6.0
(21.2)
−15.7
(3.7)
−0.4
(31.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) −24.5
(−12.1)
−22.8
(−9)
−15.9
(3.4)
−7.2
(19)
1.0
(33.8)
8.2
(46.8)
12.2
(54)
11.4
(52.5)
5.9
(42.6)
−1.4
(29.5)
−9.8
(14.4)
−20.5
(−4.9)
−5.3
(22.5)
Average low °C (°F) −29.8
(−21.6)
−28.5
(−19.3)
−22.2
(−8)
−13.3
(8.1)
−4.0
(24.8)
3.0
(37.4)
7.3
(45.1)
6.6
(43.9)
2.3
(36.1)
−4.3
(24.3)
−13.5
(7.7)
−25.3
(−13.5)
−10.2
(13.6)
Record low °C (°F) −48.3
(−54.9)
−50.6
(−59.1)
−45
(−49)
−36.1
(−33)
−23.3
(−9.9)
−7.8
(18)
0.0
(32)
−3.3
(26.1)
−9.4
(15.1)
−19.4
(−2.9)
−35.6
(−32.1)
−47.2
(−53)
−50.6
(−59.1)
Precipitation mm (inches) 49.7
(1.957)
29.7
(1.169)
49.8
(1.961)
56.4
(2.22)
50.3
(1.98)
76.6
(3.016)
96.2
(3.787)
82.5
(3.248)
114.6
(4.512)
74.7
(2.941)
63.5
(2.5)
48.1
(1.894)
792.1
(31.185)
Rainfall mm (inches) 0.26
(0.0102)
0.29
(0.0114)
1.4
(0.055)
9.0
(0.354)
26.1
(1.028)
69.2
(2.724)
96.1
(3.783)
81.9
(3.224)
103.0
(4.055)
24.5
(0.965)
4.5
(0.177)
0.73
(0.0287)
416.98
(16.4153)
Snowfall cm (inches) 70.6
(27.8)
60.6
(23.86)
66.6
(26.22)
50.5
(19.88)
22.4
(8.82)
6.0
(2.36)
0.1
(0.04)
0.3
(0.12)
11.1
(4.37)
55.2
(21.73)
66.6
(26.22)
76.6
(30.16)
486.6
(191.58)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 16.5 13.8 16.5 15.7 16.0 17.1 18.9 17.8 21.4 21.7 20.8 19.1 215.2
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.15 0.54 0.85 3.3 8.8 15.4 18.9 17.8 19.0 7.6 2.3 0.58 95.1
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 16.6 13.6 17.0 13.9 10.6 4.2 0.23 0.25 5.9 18.4 20.8 19.1 140.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 86.2 122.3 153.2 185.2 199.8 185.4 196.9 177.4 90.5 61.3 49.6 58.9 1,566.6
Percent possible sunshine 35.3 44.8 41.8 43.9 40.1 35.9 38.0 38.3 23.6 18.8 19.5 25.9 33.8
Source: Environment Canada[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Schefferville (ville)" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  2. ^ a b "Schefferville". Répertoire des municipalités (in French). Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l'Occupation du territoire. Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  3. ^ a b c "Schefferville census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  4. ^ "Our Nation - History". Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  5. ^ Statistics Canada 2006 Census - Schefferville community profile
  6. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 census
  7. ^ "Schefferville Airport". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved November 25, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Schefferville at Wikimedia Commons