Northern Gateway Project

April 8, 2012 by staff 

Northern Gateway Project, The Nuxalk First Nation of Bella Coola have withdrawn as interveners from the joint review process for Enbridge Inc.’s controversial Northern Gateway pipeline project.

The Nuxalk said they are pulling out because they said the federal government has already predetermined the outcome of the $5.5-billion project, which proposes to transport crude oil from Alberta’s tarsands to Kitimat for shipment to Asia via supertanker.

They said the government’s plan to retroactively change the rules for the hearings will also compromise the review. And they also frowned on the way the review panel delayed the hearings in Bella Bella last week in response to a peaceful protest.

“There is no honour in the federal Crown’s approach to consulting with First Nations on the Enbridge project,” said elected Chief Andrew Andy in a statement. “Recent statements make it clear that the Prime Minister has already decided to approve the super-tanker project.”

Hereditary Chief Charlie Nelson also took issue with recent comments made by Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver.

“How can we participate in a process driven by a government that has labelled us ‘socially dysfunctional?’” Nelson said in a statement.

Andy said the Nuxalk entered the process in “good faith,” but that the government’s “disrespectful behaviour makes [it] clear that our good faith is not being returned.”

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