Federal Government Approves MacKenzie Pipeline

>> Thursday, December 16, 2010

Money, money, money....always money... in a neoliberal world :(

I stopped by Google news this evening and was distressed to read that Canada's Federal government has approved the MacKenzie pipeline - in spite of the fact that it is no secret that to go ahead with the project is likely to have major negative ramifications for both the people and the environment.

But hey, who cares? It's all about the money, n'est-ce pas?

I was particularly distressed to see that, according to the article in the Vancouver Sun,

Absent but in discussions are the DehCho which hold 40 per cent of the lands the pipeline will go through in southwest NWT, and the only one of the group to yet resolve its land claims with the feds.
I read about the DehCho last year when I did a unit on the Berger Commission (1977) .... it wasn't required, but I was interested in finding out where the whole pipeline project was at that point.

Then, the DehCho were not jumping on board with the whole thing. They had not joined the Aboriginal Pipeline Group, and were standing up to the considerable pressure being applied. In an April 2010 report by the CBC:

Dehcho Grand Chief Sam Gargan said the pipeline should not go ahead until the First Nations resolve two outstanding issues with Ottawa: the unsettled land claim and a land-use and resource management plan for Dehcho territory.

Gargan accused the federal government of punishing the Dehcho by holding up progress on those issues.

"Over the last decade, the Dehcho people have repeatedly been subject to direct and veiled threats of false deadlines, as well as attempts to undermine and intimidate our leadership — all in an effort to get the Dehcho to take an ownership stake in the Aboriginal Pipeline Group," he told the board on Thursday.

The Dehcho First Nations claim traditional territory in the southwest corner of the Northwest Territories that would be part of the right of way for the pipeline.

The claim covers about 40 per cent of the pipeline's projected route. The Dehcho are the only remaining First Nations along the route that haven't expressed support for it.
So - I wondered if they had given up and joined the APG or if they had resolved their land claims. It seems clear from the Vancouver Sun article that they have not - but that the federal government has decided to just disregard that and steamroll on their way.

But hey .... Harper has agreed to meet with Aboriginal leaders..... and he's going to make Aboriginal education a priority....

So ... it's all good now, right?

I just visited the DehCho site... I feel sick. How dare we?

I am Canadian.... and I am sorry.


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