WENDAKE, QC, April 14, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - On the eve of a meeting that will bring together premiers of the governments of the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia with Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, on the expansion of the Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline, a meeting to which the First Nations involved will not be represented, the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) expresses its support for the First Nations' fight against Kinder Morgan.
"We understand the frustration and exasperation of First Nations that demand this project be abandoned once and for all. Yet, the Government of Canada says it is committed to implementing the principles of the United Nations' Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the right to free, prior and informed consent, as a fundamental basis for reconciliation. Yet this government has also committed itself on the international stage to fight against climate change. We are perplexed, no one will win in the current crisis exacerbated by this contradiction between words and action," said Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.
Since last year, 150 First Nations in Canada and the United States, including a substantial proportion of First Nations in Quebec, have signed a treaty of alliance against oil sands expansion projects such as Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain project, which is against the principles of the signatory First Nations.
Grand Chief Serge Simon of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake, a member of the Alliance and signatory to the Treaty, explains the urgency of taking action on this issue: "First Nations in Quebec played a leading role in the campaign to stop the Energy East pipeline. I was proud to stand with not only the other leaders of the AFNQL, but also with many Quebecers and Canadians. If Ottawa persists in supporting the project despite the strong opposition of many First Nations whose territories are affected by the expansion of this pipeline in the province of British Columbia and Alberta, all signatories to the Treaty will be in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. We call on all Quebecers to express their support for our efforts".
In addition, last fall, the AFNQL adopted a resolution demanding the Desjardins Group to withdraw the 145-million-dollar loan from Kinder Morgan for Trans Mountain. More recently, Grand Chief Serge Simon of Kanesatake and Chief Jean-Charles Piétacho of the Innu Council of Ekuanishit, both signatories to the Treaty Alliance, took part in a rally on March 10th in front of Kinder Morgan's headquarters in British Columbia to express their solidarity with the First Nations against the 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. Follow us on Twitter @APNQL
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
For further information: Alain Garon, [email protected], Communications Officer, Cell. : 418 254-4620