Dreams collide for Trudeau as First Nations bet big on oil and gas – by John Ivison (National Post – December 4, 2023)


Climate zealots will likely have more influence on deciding project loan guarantees than the wishes of Indigenous communities will

Justin Trudeau’s top priorities ever since his election in 2015 have been action on climate change and a “renewed nation-to-nation relationship” with Indigenous people. But what happens when your top priorities crash headlong into one another?

In the recent fall economic statement the government said it is “determined to ensure that Indigenous communities can share in the benefits of major projects in their territories on their own terms” (emphasis mine).

The statement said Natural Resources Canada is working to lower the cost of capital for First Nations by developing an Indigenous loan-guarantee program to help facilitate equity ownership in major projects. It said next steps will be announced in Budget 2024.

But for many First Nations the delay is bad news. Extending loan guarantees to Indigenous Canadians is a no-brainer, as an organization representing 140 bands — the First Nations Major Projects Coalition — explained when it lobbied ministers on Parliament Hill last June.

For the rest of this column: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/trudeaus-dreams-collide-as-first-nations-bet-big-on-oil-and-gas