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Enbridge claims on equity agreements a sham, says Coastal First Nations
Vancouver (Tuesday, June 5/12) – A claim today by Enbridge that the company has signed equity agreements with 60 per cent of the First Nations along the proposed B.C./Alberta route of the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project is a complete sham, says Coastal First Nations executive director Art Sterritt.
“We have checked with all the First Nations on the pipeline route west of Prince George and only two First Nations have signed equity agreements,” says Sterritt, in response to Enbridge’s announcement earlier today. Sterritt says the numbers being bandied about by Enbridge are flawed. “Enbridge expanded its pipeline corridor by 80 kilometers to increase its numbers. Many of these communities that have signed on are located outside of the areas that will be most impacted by a spill.”
As well Enbridge is including groups that either aren’t located on the pipeline corridor or don’t have land in British Columbia, Sterritt said. “We are absolutely mystified about the inclusion of the Metis in Enbridge’s 60 per cent. It’s ridiculous to include groups that don’t have Aboriginal Rights and Title to land within the pipeline corridor.”
Despite Enbridge’s comments to the contrary the Gitksan people have made it clear they don’t support the project, Sterritt says. “They have strongly rejected the agreement.”
The wall of opposition against Enbridge’s proposed pipeline project still exists, he says. “We still intend to stop this project.”
The Coastal First Nations is an alliance of First Nations that includes the Wuikinuxv, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xaixais, Nuxalk, Gitga’at, Haisla, Metlakatla, Old Massett, Skidegate, and Council of the Haida Nation with approximately 20,000 members that are working together to develop a sustainable economy.