Indigenous chiefs blast Ottawa’s Trans Mountain consultation efforts ahead of key regulatory decision – Vancouver Sun

by ahnationtalk on June 26, 2019155 Views

The Indigenous claims come as the National Energy Board prepares for a decision on whether it will reinstate the project after July 9, when a comment period ends

OTTAWA — Three First Nations are claiming Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi and other federal officials failed to properly consult with Indigenous communities on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, possibly adding fresh complications to an already prolonged regulatory and legal process.

“I felt like I wasn’t even being respected or even listened to,” said Coldwater Indian Band chief Lee Spahan, describing his interactions with the federal government in recent months.

“In the eyes of my council and myself, it was pretty much a waste of time,” he said.

Coldwater has been among the Indigenous communities most fiercely opposed to the Trans Mountain expansion project, saying the project threatens to spoil a crucial freshwater aquifer that it has relied upon for generations.

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