WENDAKE, QC, Aug. 31, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Following the cancellation of the National Energy Board's (NEB) public proceedings in Montreal on the Energy East Project, the Assembly of First Nations Quebec- Labrador (AFNQL) believes that it is more than time to put an end to this process, which raises serious doubts about its integrity, or even its legitimacy. It is time to rethink this process in depth, in collaboration with First Nations and as requested by the AFNQL since the beginning.
"The NEB is unable to review the Energy East Project in the respect of the fundamental rights of First Nations. The AFNQL believes the NEB has neither the capacity nor the mandate to respond to the duty to consult", declared Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.
The AFNQL reiterates its opposition to the pipeline, based on a resolution adopted by the Assembly of Chiefs in June 2016. "The position of the First Nations in Quebec on the Energy East Pipeline Project is clear. It's no!", added AFNQL Chief, Ghislain Picard.
Moreover, the AFNQL will inform the governments of Canada and Quebec that any development project on the traditional territories of First Nations must not and cannot infringe on the Aboriginal title and Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. Fundamentally, a process with the Crown would be the only acceptable guarantee to First Nations. "Only a clear engagement with the Crown can ensure that our political institutions are taken seriously because up until now, neither of the two Governments has been able to meet the concerns of our First Nations Governments," insists the Chief of the AFNQL.
First Nations' Review Process
The AFNQL plans to suggest the Chiefs to establish of a First Nations' review process, which would have the mandate to assess any resource exploitation project on First Nations traditional territories. "We believe in our responsibility as stewards of the land and its resources. We will take any means necessary to exercise this responsibility and demand that everyone be required to comply with a rigorous examination, which criteria could be determined by First Nations," pointed out the Chief of the AFNQL, citing as an
example among many others, the unacceptable high risks associated with the Energy East Pipeline Project.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political organization regrouping 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador. www.apnql-afnql.com.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
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