04/09/2015 10:45 EDT | Updated 06/09/2015 05:59 EDT

Emera and Mi'kmaq people sign agreement on Maritime Link subsea project

HALIFAX - Emera (TSX:EMA) has signed an agreement with the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia granting them greater involvement in the development of the Maritime Link.

The agreement, signed in Halifax today by Chiefs Terrance Paul and Sidney Peters of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs, will allow Mi'kmaq leaders to monitor the construction of the subsea cable and give Mi'kmaq companies fair and equal access to contracts on the project.

Expected to be complete in 2017, the Maritime Link will transmit hydroelectricity from the island of Newfoundland to Nova Scotia, connecting Newfoundland and Labrador to the North American transmission grid for the first time.

That electricity will come from the Muskrat Falls project, which is now under construction in Labrador.

Although all parties involved in the development of the Maritime Link say the Mi'kmaq have been involved in the project since its inception in 2011, today marks a formal agreement with the group.