Well, we now have the Federal Court of Appeal put another nail in the prospects of a northern gateway pipeline from Alberta to the BC Coast.
It says the Federal Government did not consult properly in the pursuit of this project. Now , this division between the NEB , a Federal Government Agency , and other Federal Agencies is interesting. Obviously, the Court thinks it’s important. This is a little puzzling . One would think the judges would take the full ‘ Federal’ consultation and not technically separate one agency from another.
I hope the two judges whose decision makes the majority have read the whole 425 pages of the NEB Report and all the conditions attached there to and especially those that deal with Aboriginal matters. Of course, apparently this does not matter if I understand the court’s decision.
Another rather important point is that the majority of aboriginal groups support the project and are part of the northern gateway project , according to the Canadian Press story and from what I had read earlier.
Now let me get this straight. The Court is saying that the Federal Government did not consult enough or in the right way with Aboriginal groups on a project proposed by a Company that includes a majority of aboriginal groups from the very areas in question? I thought that inherent in the duty to consult was that a project was being proposed by ‘outsiders ‘on land that in some way had real aboriginal interests , would affect the aboriginal people in the area etc not a project that the Aboriginals themselves were already intricately involved . Obviously, the aboriginals involved with the company must have approved of the project as proposed given that they are part of the company.
So , if a minority of aboriginal groups disagree , the Court in its wisdom, ignores the wishes of the majority of aboriginal groups , and proceeds on its merry way to reject the project as presently proposed.
A federal Agency approves the project with many conditions , many favourable to aboriginal interests, a majority of aboriginal groups are a part of the project, consultation and input was sought by the NEB from Aboriginal people and in many cases occurred, the NEB financially supported aboriginal consultation for itself and for other Federal agencies according to the final report, and yet the proposal falls short.
Perhaps I have this all wrong . I shall pursue further in the hope that I am.
Happy Canada Day!