Indigenous communities are still upset with the government’s Bill C-69, legislation intended to speed up and streamline the large project assessment process in Canada but which may end up frustrating the process further.
A few weeks ago, a convoy of more than 30 trucks met in northern Alberta to support pipelines and oppose Bill C-69. The event was billed by CBC News as the first Indigenous-led rally in support of energy resources. The event was organized by the Region One Aboriginal Business Association (ROABA), a group that promotes the interests of Indigenous-owned businesses in northern Alberta.
The Senate energy committee studying the bill has decided to take the bill on the road for more public consultations. That is likely the best decision for First Nations and indeed all Canadians, as these major projects — especially critical oil pipelines to get Alberta oil to foreign markets — are in the national interests of Canada.
Indigenous communities also know only too well what is at stake, economically and socially, for their people. ROABA is not the only Indigenous organization that supports pipelines and opposes Bill C-69.
“The Indian Resource Council (IRC) is urging all Senators to take a stand and oppose Bill C-69,” said IRC President and CEO, Stephen Buffalo, a member of the Samson Cree Nation. “Bill C-69 would wreak havoc on Indigenous economic development in many parts of Canada.”
For the rest of this column: https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/indigenous-canadians-are-upset-with-the-liberal-governments-bill-c-69-too