Court overturns Canada’s approval of Northern Gateway pipeline
by Obert Madondo, editor of The Canadian Progressive, June 30, 2016
“First Nations and Canada have a lot of work to do regarding measures needed to finally put us all on the path of reconciliation and partnership.”
The court’s ruling offers the Trudeau government with a unique opportunity to re-think both Canada’s discredited pipeline approval process and the ongoing efforts to achieve reconciliation with First Nations.
“In a decision that’s already being hailed as a major victory for First Nations and the planet, the Federal Court of Appeal recently overturned the Canadian government’s 2014 approval of Enbridge’s contested Northern Gateway pipeline project.
The court concluded that Canada failed to respect its constitutional duty to properly consult the various First Nations that would be adversely affected by the $7.9 billion pipeline before approving the project.
According to the court’s ruling (pdf), “Canada offered only a brief, hurried and inadequate opportunity” for dialogue. Canada acted in a manner that “was not consistent with the duty to consult and the obligation of fair dealing.”
“It would have taken Canada little time and little organizational effort to engage in meaningful dialogue on these and other subjects of prime importance to Aboriginal Peoples. But this did not happen.”