Dakelh Territory, Prince George, British Columbia. Canada. During a debate on the CTV Question Period program yesterday CSTC Vice Tribal Chief Terry Teegee was part of a panel that included Eric Swanson (Dogwood Initiative), and Kathryn Marshal (Ethical Oil). The ‘Ethical Oil’ group claims to promote the interests in Canadian tars sands production and the benefit of the Enbridge Northern Gateway project as an ‘ethical’ choice because of the environmental, labour and human rights laws in Canada. The CSTC calls ‘Ethical Oil’ hypocritical and a danger to First Nations and Canadians.
“It’s absurd and misleading that the Ethical Oil group is suggesting that the Enbridge Gateway project is good for First Nations and northern BC”, stated Vice Tribal Chief Terry Teegee. “Our First Nations communities see nothing ethical in the way Enbridge is financing this doomed project.” The argument is that tar sands oil is more ethical than so called ‘conflict oil’ from countries that have no respect for human or environmental rights. Yet the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation are under constant threat of losing their way of life because of the tar sands. Countless First Nations have already said that the project is not worth the risks to the environment from the pipeline and tanker traffic. Approval of such a project will undermine local decision-making and the free, prior and informed consent required by First Nations.
Tribal Chief David Luggi said, “The Chinese have been heavily investing in the tar sands and the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal, which has been driving Canadian policy and decision-making for years.” This is in response to Kathryn Marshal’s fear-mongering that they work to support decisions in the national interest, and counter Prime Minister Harpers’ warning that the National Energy Board hearings will be ‘hijacked’ by foreign interests. “They are spinning the facts and misrepresenting the issues. These projects are already being influenced by foreign forces”, noted Luggi.
“Our First Nations are not against development. But it must benefit more than foreign investors and brokers in Calgary and Toronto”, said Vice Tribal Chief Terry Teegee. “We examined the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project and our people said that it was not worth the risks. We cannot eat money. We cannot take care of the land and water if it is allowed to be destroyed by foreigners. We have a responsibility to ensure our land is protected for future generations”, stated Teegee.
For more information please contact:
Tribal Chief David Luggi: Office (250) 562-6279 e.222. Cell: (250) 640-6622
Vice Tribal Chief Terry Teegee: Office (250) 562-6279 e.223. Cell: (250) 640-3256
Link to CTV debate: http://watch.ctv.ca/news/ctvs-question-period/jan-8/#clip597087