Monday, February 4, 2013
Coastal First Nations exit the Northern Gateway process
"We are profoundly disappointed with the nature of this process. Taken together these problems undermine the legitimacy and authenticity of the hearing process, our pursuit of the true facts and, ultimately, a just result.” -- Part of a statement from Art Steritt, Coastal First Nations, Executive Director as the Coastal First Nations announce they are exiting the the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel proceedings
Some dramatic moments to open up the latest of the Northern Gateway Joint Review Hearings in Prince Rupert.
Expressing frustration with the process and highlighting their concerns over the imbalance in the funding situation surrounding the hearings, the Coastal First Nations, representing nine First Nations bands on the North Coast have quit the Northern Gateway review process.
Executive Director Art Steritt informed the panel of the Coastal First Nations decision today, as the Prince Rupert sessions resumed at the North Coast Meeting and Convention centre.
Appearing in front of the panel, Steritt compared the hearings to a David and Goliath situation, highlighting the scope of their funding situation and the impact it has had on their ability to pursue a proper course of action at the hearings.
He outlined those funding concerns with the process for the panel, detailing the Coastal First Nations financial options, compared to what they say Enbridge has access to.
In a press release issued in conjunction with Mr. Steritt's appearance, the Costal First Nations outlined further some of their many concerns over the Joint Review Panel proceedings thus far.
Among some of those concerns:
The need for more scientific study on emergency preparedness before any decision can be made.
Their dismay that Enbridge witnesses are not answering questions or are being non-responsive.
Changes that the Federal Government made to the decision making process.
The Coastal First Nations advised that they will continue to monitor the proceedings and will participate as best they can, considering what their limited resources can provide for.
The proceedings are being webcast live (an audio feed) as they move forward through the daily Joint Review Panel sessions.
Our review of the return of the Joint Review Panel proceedings to Prince Rupert can be found here.
Media updates on the hearings can be found below:
Globe and Mail-- First Nations representative abandons Northern Gateway review process
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