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CSTC Responds to CGLP EA ...

CSTC Responds to CGLP EA Certificate Issuance

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October 27, 2014

CSTC Responds to CGLP EA Certificate Issuance (PDF Version)

Dakelh Territory, Prince George. On Friday, October 24, the BC Environmental Assessment Office issued an Environmental Assessment Certificate for TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project. This is an important milestone for the natural gas industry and the BC government. However, BC has stated publicly that this Project (and other proposed natural gas pipelines) will not go ahead without First Nation support. That support is not currently in place. CSTC and its member First Nations have outstanding concerns about the environmental impacts of the Project that have not been addressed. BC and TransCanada will need to address our concerns before CSTC and its member First Nations will be in a position to provide our required consent for this Project.

Tribal Chief Teegee stated, “TransCanada may have an EA Certificate from BC, but they do not have Carrier Sekani’s consent for the Project. To proceed without our consent would not be justifiable at law, and would therefore create a real and substantial risk for BC, TransCanada and its Project.”

The Project would cross approximately 300 km of unceded Carrier Sekani lands and waters, creating a new linear corridor in an area that is already heavily impacted by development. The Carrier Sekani are concerned about how the Project and other regional developments will impact wildlife and fisheries that are already in decline due to such issues as the mountain pine beetle, water level controls on the Nechako River by Rio Tinto Alcan, and land alienation from other land uses (i.e. agriculture, mining, forestry, etc.).

Tribal Chief Teegee stated, "CSTC has been working very hard with its members to understand the impacts of the Project and the three other natural gas pipelines that will cross our unceded lands. We have repeatedly issued concerns regarding how the impacts of those projects are being assessed by BCEAO and how the cumulative effects of these major projects will impact our Aboriginal title, rights, and interests." Those concerns have been largely ignored by BC and TransCanada. Over the past year CSTC and its members have commissioned technical studies to understand the impacts for various natural gas pipelines being proposed. There are, however, more studies that need to be completed and more discussions that are required with the Crown and companies

"The recent Tsilhqot'in case establishes that the Crown and companies must change how they seek certainty from First Nations that have not given up their rights and title. The BCEAO process is not the means to obtain certainty. We have our laws and requirements that guide how we will make an informed decision", noted Tribal Chief Teegee.

CSTC and its member First Nations are considering all of our legal options in relation to the Project, including judicial review. Tribal Chief Teegee added, “We’re concerned about the Fraser River Sockeye and other fish species as a result of the Mt. Polley disaster, and its long-term effects. To keep approving projects without proper assessments and recovery plans in place is not the way to reconciliation with the Carrier Sekani.”

CSTC has been calling for legislative reform to the environmental assessment process in British Columbia, including the option of First Nations-led environmental assessments.

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Contact:
Tribal Chief Terry Teegee, Carrier Sekani Tribal Council.  Cell: 250-640-3256
Link to reports: http://www.carriersekani.ca/current-issues/natural-gas-pipelines
Link to BCEAO CGLP site: http://a100.gov.bc.ca/appsdata/epic/html/deploy/epic_project_home_392.html

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