Nov 6 2018
The Government of Canada has introduced two pieces of legislation, both currentlybeing debated in the Senate, with far-reaching consequences for the Canadianeconomy
Bill C-48 (Oil Tanker Moratorium Act) was introduced to “ensure that goods are transported in a safe and responsible way while protecting our marine environment and clean water” (Government of Canada, 2017) but unilaterally targets Canadian oil from reaching new markets while ignoring key environmental risks.
Bill C-69 (Strengthening the Proposed Impact Assessment, Canadian Energy Regulator, and Canadian Navigable Waters Acts) was introduced with the stated purpose of putting in place “better rules to protect our environment, fish and waterways, and rebuild public trust in how decisions about resource development are made”. The Government committed that Bill C69 would ensure that “companies…have more clarity about what is required of them, and project reviews would be more predictable and timely, encouraging investment in Canada’s natural resources sectors” (Government of Canada, 2018a). Numerous industry representatives and provincial governments have disputed the claim that these bills promote a “a strong economy”, and we join in their concern. It is our position that these two bills will have the primary effect of dampening investment in Canada’s resource sector, and as a result will impede our rights as Indigenous people, as confirmed in the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), to improve our economic and social conditions; rather they will deprive us of an important means of subsistence and development. We call on the Senate and House of Commons to significantly amend Bill C-69 and revoke Bill C-48 in order to meet their Treaty and other obligations to First Nations and Métis people.