Decision “feels like sunshine.” Nation says Enbridge offers an important lesson for other resource proponents on the importance of Aboriginal consultation and credible environmental impact studies.
HARTLEY BAY, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – May 31, 2013) – The Gitga’at First Nation is congratulating the B.C. government on its rejection of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and oil tanker project, saying the rejection offers an important lesson to other resource development proponents on the BC North Coast.
News of the decision brought smiles to the faces of Gitga’at First Nation administration staff, who described it as feeling like, “sunshine breaking through an overcast day.”
“We applaud this decision and clear act of leadership from the B.C. government,” said Chief Councillor, Arnold Clifton. “The Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and oil tankers project would have put our communities and the natural resources we depend on at risk of a catastrophic oil spill.”
40% or more of the Gitga’at food supply comes from the ocean.
“It is this kind of leadership – leadership that includes respect for Aboriginal rights and title, and credible environmental impact assessment – that allows for discussions of more reasonable and responsible forms of resource development,” said Clifton. “Our door is open.”
Gitga’at territory encompasses roughly 7,500 square kilometres of land and water, including a major portion of Douglas Channel, which is the proposed oil tanker route for the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, and several proposed LNG terminals.
Earlier this month, the nation asked representatives of Enbridge to leave their territory after the company began project work on an oil spill response survey without consultation, and despite the fact that the project had not been approved.
Gitga’at First Nation