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Alberta AFN regional chief responds to Trans Mountain court decision

AFN Regional Chief Marlene Poitras.

There remain outstanding questions on how this will change employment and investment opportunities for First Nations in Alberta, including the potential for equity ownership partnership sought by First Nations. —AFN Regional Chief Marlene Poitras

Decision from the Federal Court of Appeal

Today, the Federal Court of Appeal found that the Government of Canada did not fulfill its duty to consult with First Nations in British Columbia on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project, and failure to properly assess the effects of marine shipping under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.

“Today’s decision requires study and reflection by First Nations in Alberta and how it will impact ongoing work within our territories. There remain outstanding questions on how this will change employment and investment opportunities for First Nations in Alberta, including the potential for equity ownership partnership sought by First Nations in both British Columbia and Alberta. We will continue to seek answers on these issues,” said AFN Regional Chief Marlene Poitras.

“This decision highlights the importance of the Federal Government’s need to reassess how it consults with First Nations on major projects. The full application of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples needs to be fully realized, especially with regards to free, prior, and informed consent. Following this international standard will ensure any major projects respect the rights of First Nations peoples everywhere.

“This ruling means the government has the obligation to properly assess the impacts of increased tanker traffic on the environment and marine life and ensure they meet or exceed the highest environmental standards possible,” said Poitras.

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