Harper Government Continues Unrelenting Assault Against Aboriginal Title, Rights & Treaty Rights

News Release. May 1, 2012
(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver-Canada, May 1, 2012) On April 26, 2012 the Federal Government introduced Bill C-38, the Budget Implementation Act to the House which proposes to drastically weaken the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Fisheries Act and other important legislation which work together to safeguard and protect the environment.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, stated "It is clear that Harper’s agenda and priorities are the fast-tracking of resource development projects such as the Northern Gateway Enbridge project, expansion of the Kinder-Morgan pipeline and the Taseko Mines Ltd‘s New Prosperity Mine at the expense of the surrounding watersheds. It is simply repugnant and reprehensible for the Harper Government to shamelessly pander to industry in what should be independent processes and ultimately hold a veto or grant their industry cronies a second chance for any project if an independent review panel conclusions are not the desired conclusions"

"This bill and its erosion of environmental protections represent a blatant dismissal of Aboriginal Title, Rights and Treaty Rights resulting in greater uncertainty for industry investments. The Harper Government cannot legislate itself out of its duties to consult and accommodate Aboriginal Title, Rights and Treaty Rights," said Grand Chief Phillip. "Removing and weakening these environmental laws will only create greater political unity and solidarity on the ground as more and more British Columbians realize that once corporate third party interests are granted or expanded; those industry interests are protected at the expense of the environmental values that we all share to the great detriment of all future generations."

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, (604) 684-0231

UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.