Dakelh Territory, Prince George, British Columbia. Canada. Today the federal government released its much anticipated budget, and as predicted it falls short on several items. The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) is particularly concerned that the ‘One Project, One Review’ streamlining of the environmental assessment will only create further uncertainty. Other items of concern are the lack of commitments towards long term, substantive investments in First Nations education.
Vice Tribal Chief said, “We will be monitoring very, very closely how the federal bureaucracy gets reorganized, especially at the Major Projects Office. First Nation title and rights are cornerstone impacts for our people, for large and small projects.” The environmental assessment process is already inadequate for ensuring that First Nations rights and interests are protected. “Canadians, especially in BC, should be very concerned about what the Harper government is proposing as this so called streamlining of environmental assessments is directly related to approving the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project and associated tanker traffic.” The CSTC is calling for full disclosure and transparency from the federal and provincial governments related to how projects will be assessed under the new proposed changes.
“Our children and youth are the fastest growing population in Canada. We’re concerned that the new budget does not provide enough substantive, long term resources for education, skills training and support for First Nations business innovation, particularly in the technology and science sectors”, stated Tribal Chief David Luggi. He noted, “It seems that the federal government is all about selling our resources from under us. ‘Responsible resource development’ to us means not taking more than you need, and ensuring that the land can sustain future generations. It doesn’t mean sell it all for money.” The budget is intensely focused on the Asia-Pacific markets that are hungry for natural resources.
“The CSTC territory makes up 7.8 million hectares in north central BC. Our people will no longer allow projects that do not supply secure, equitable and appropriate benefits for this and seven generations to come”, said Vice Tribal Chief Teegee. He also noted, “It’s time that Prime Minister Harper and the full Cabinet visit our lands to meet with our people. Only then can partnerships be built that ensure mutually beneficial projects.”
For more information please contact:
Tribal Chief David Luggi: Office (250) 562-6279 ext.222. Cell: (250) 640-6622
Vice Tribal Chief Terry Teegee: Office (250) 562-6279 ext.223. Cell: (250) 640-3256