Tuesday, November 29, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORTHERN GATEWAY PROJECT DEAD AND MORATORIUM COMING
“Canada’s announcement today finally puts an end to the Northern Gateway Project. The announcement is an affirmation for all citizens and organizations who stood up, were accountable, and confronted a project that had the potential to wreck the coast and the inland waterways we hold dear,” said kil tlaats ‘gaa Peter Lantin, President of the Haida Nation. “This is a good day, one which we have waited for, and in this case, the federal government has made the right choice.”
The National Energy Board’s Joint Review Panel which was the consultation process struck by the Conservative government was ruled insufficient by the Federal Court of Appeal in September 2016. Given that decision, Canada could have rejected or approved the project based on the consultation process, sent the project back to the National Energy Board for another look, or rejected the project outright.
The rejection of the project is welcomed, but the Haida Nation continues to be critical of the past consultation process and is watching the federal governments approach to remedying the situation.
“There has to be a better government-to-government consultation process to deal with these projects before they get rolling,” said Lantin. “Avoiding this type of confrontation through frank dialogue will result in more common ground. Protecting the coast and the waters surrounding Haida Gwaii is paramount for our Nation. But within this framework there is room to develop practical solutions and resolve issues nation-to-nation and to do that we have to talk.”
The Haida Nation is cautiously optimistic regarding the announced moratorium on tanker traffic along the coast and surrounding waters of Haida Gwaii.
“We are very pleased that the federal government has heard and acted on the sound arguments that have been made in support of a moratorium, and we will be waiting for the details of the proposed legislation to gauge how that meets our Nations expectations,” said Lantin. “We also want to acknowledge that the decisions today may affect other coastal Nations negatively. We are aware of this and will continue our work with other Nations to uphold our inherent responsibility to protect these waterways.”
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MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Simon Davies
250 637 1130 or 250 559 4468