The following is a press release from BC Métis Federation this morning…
(Grand Prairie, BC) – The Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC), Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA), and Métis National Council (MNC) continue work with the controversial Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project over the next two days despite growing opposition from Métis people these organizations purport to represent. The Métis Nation Economic Summit is being held in Grand Prairie March 15th and 16th. The focus is on the economic benefits being proposed by the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project along with some other partners. The BC Métis Federation recently conducted a poll where 91% of the Métis respondents from across British Columbia outright oppose this project. BC Métis Federation is continuing their community based work and is further reviewing how Métis people feel about this project as part of the Regional Sessions being held throughout BC between March and May.
BC Métis Federation President Henry stated, “MNBC, MNA, and MNC continue to defy good Métis governance by promoting economic development on projects that are not supported by the Métis people in BC. MNBC, MNC, and MNA have decided to form a relationship thereby providing companies such as Enbridge with further records of consultation that will impact any future legal position in the view of the regulators, or rather National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in this case. There is such a lack of understanding in my view about the consultation process by these groups.”
President Henry added, “We know MNBC continues to change their decision making process on the fly about whether MNBC supports the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project or not. MNBC has not provided adequate information for Métis people about their role regarding consultation to date with the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project or whether or not they have already signed the Enbridge equity deal. MNBC representatives continue to attend the Joint Review Panel process that is reviewing the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project and providing misleading information about who MNBC actually represents, the history of Métis people in BC, and whether or not MNBC supports the project. The question is how come MNBC refuses to answer or be transparent one way or the other about their position and clarify if they have signed the Enbridge equity deal to the Métis people of BC?”
President Henry further added, “The MNBC is now out there recreating a decision making process with some of their Métis communities in BC. For instance the Métis community in Terrace has once again postponed any decision for their membership. Terrace Métis community President Alan Sauve sent a recent email, that I have attached, to their members describing efforts to raise public concerns about the MNBC process as nothing more than political. This is a community that is surrounded by First Nation opposition plus a municipal government who has officially voted against the Enbridge project.
Moreover we know for a fact that number of the Terrace Métis members already oppose this project. As President of one of the Métis communities working with MNBC Mr. Sauve is an example of leaders trying to manipulate a decision process. Yes Métis people need information but why if MNBC has already signed the equity deal? Furthermore how come it is only now that MNBC representatives want to hold community meetings about this project? In addition will MNBC present exactly how much informational meetings they have had to date with Enbridge, how much money they have been provided to date, and clarify the methodology of an alleged Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Study? MNBC continues to assert that individuals such as Mr. Gary Ducommun and Mr. Trumbley are experts in Aboriginal consultation and this is simply not the case. They have specific fields of expertise being fisheries and wildlife from a western science based knowledge. They cannot speak about the key issues of environmental impacts, engineering design, traditional knowledge held by elders plus many other areas of expertise required to have an independent view of this project. Therefore any information now will be to convince the Métis people in Terrace why there is nothing to worry about, there is great economic benefits, and so forth.”
BC Métis Federation Henry carried on, “Ironically as MNBC, MNA, and MNC prepare to try selling the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project economics to Métis people about Enbridge, First Nations and other key partners were in Ottawa this week speaking directly to the Federal Government about their opposition. The opposition now includes union representatives and I have attached a press release out as they are in Ottawa this week. I have attached the press release out today to demonstrate the real challenges that First Nations will apply legally, not to mention growing union opposition.”
President Henry concluded, “The MNBC will use economic arguments to spin why this is such a good deal to support this Enbridge project in exchange Métis support in BC. Thereby selling out Métis collective Métis rights with no consultation or mandate from Métis people. Okay let’s think about this. Enbridge has reported that a 10% equity share will provide Aboriginal groups and each group will allegedly be provided about $320,000 per year once the project is operational. First of all MNBC will ensure this money will stays at MNBC; forget the communities as they are millions in debt. If they actually shared with the people who are impacted this would equate to about $53.00 per month/person who has an MNBC citizenship card. Oh let’s not forget a few jobs that Métis people might see. Does MNBC really think your rights are worth $53.00/month? What will MNBC say to impacts when there is a spill to your harvesting of fish and wildlife? How about the negative impacts to commercial fisheries, tourism, and so many others. You better all save your $53.00/month carefully.”
The next BC Métis Federation Regional Gathering is being hosted in Surrey this upcoming Saturday, March 17th, 2012 at the Sheraton Guilford located at 15269 104th Avenue. The BC Métis Federation will broadcast the event live and encourages Métis people throughout the region to attend given the ongoing developments. For more information about the Regional Gathering please go to the BC Métis Federation website www.bcmetis.com.
BC Métis Federation
You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-March-15th-2012.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download the BCMF press release in PDF.[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/Email-Terrace-President-Alan-Sauve-March-15th-2012.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to view email from NWBCMA.[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/Enbridge-Article-March-15th-2012-First-Nations-and-Unions.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download Enbridge article on First Nations and Unions.[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/Metis_Gateway_Summit_2012-Agenda-qualityprint1.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download Métis Nation Gateway Summit agenda in PDF.[/ilink]