Federal Government gets it right on rejection of Northern Gateway and instituting of north coast tanker moratorium

COAST SALISH TERRITORY, VANCOUVER, BC, Nov. 30, 2016 /CNW/ - Leaders of the First Nations Summit (FNS) are applauding the decision by the federal government to once and for all reject the Northern Gateway pipeline project and to establish a  moratorium on crude and oil tankers along British Columbia's north coast.

The FNS has long opposed the Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal due to the vast potential for serious negative environmental and cultural impacts from carrying crude oil and toxic condensate through the territories of numerous First Nations in northern BC, as well as through the headwaters of the Skeena, Fraser and Mackenzie River systems and associated watersheds. Clearly, the potential for environmental disaster far outweighed the risk.

The failed Northern Gateway project should go down in the history books as a clear example of how not to do business in BC.  The project proponents paid the ultimate price for failing to properly recognize BC First Nations' constitutionally-protected Title and Rights and failed miserably in the consultation process.

While we commend the federal government decision to cancel the Northern Gateway pipeline project and institute a north coast tanker ban, it is bittersweet due to the decision to support the twinning of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.

It is critical to note that the necessary consultation standard for any development project in BC remains as outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, officially endorsed by Canada in May of this year, to seek the free, prior and informed consent of each and every First Nation whose Aboriginal Title and Rights will be impacted. The FNS will stand in support of any First Nation that feels its inherent title and rights have been ignored for the sake of pushing through natural resource development projects in BC.

The First Nations Summit speaks on behalf of First Nations involved in treaty negotiations in British Columbia. The Summit is also a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Further background information on the Summit may be found at www.fns.bc.ca.

SOURCE First Nations Summit

For further information: Colin Braker, Communications Director, FNS, Phone: 604-328-4094

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