First Nations leaders break with Ottawa on environmental policy – by Shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail – October 20, 2017)

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First Nations leaders have halted their collaboration with Liberal government on developing environmental legislation, arguing Ottawa is failing to make good on its vaunted commitments to work in partnership with Indigenous people.

In a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, three members of the Assembly of First Nations executive committee said they were promised that they would be full partners in crafting the rules under which major mining, oil and gas and pipeline projects would be assessed.

They complained they are being left out of key decisions on the proposed legislation. The letter, dated Oct. 16, was provided to The Globe and Mail on Thursday.

“Technical discussions between officials have been largely one-sided and do not encompass the principles of collaboration and transparency that a nation-to-nation relationship must embody,” said the missive signed by three regional chiefs who are co-chairs of the AFN’s Advisory Committee on Climate Action and the Environment.

The Liberal government is in the process of overhauling four pieces of legislation – the National Energy Board Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Fisheries Act and the Navigation Protection Act – which govern how major resource projects are assessed and approved.

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