B.C. Liberals must live up to word, consult with First Nations on Northwest Transmission Line
SMITHERS –First Nations are owed full and meaningful discussions before the northwest transmission line goes ahead, say the New Democrats.
Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson said the lack of consultation is the latest broken B.C. Liberal promise and will threaten the long-term economic prosperity of the region.
“The Gitanyow hereditary chiefs are calling for a halt in the process to approve the northwest transmission line because the required consultation just hasn’t happened,” said Donaldson.
“This is an important project for the future of the region and B.C. Liberal failures are putting it – and the northwest – at risk.”
Donaldson said former Aboriginal Relations minister – and current B.C. Liberal leadership hopeful – George Abbott must accept the blame for this failure and explain what he’s doing to ensure that aboriginal rights are respected.
“This is another in a long line of examples of the B.C. Liberals failing to live up to their obligations and promises,” said Donaldson.
Scott Fraser, the New Democrat critic for aboriginal relations, said the B.C. Liberals have only paid lip service to the so-called new relationship.
“The B.C. Liberal commitment to First Nations has been spotty at best,” said Fraser. “From their divisive referendum on First Nations rights to their lack of consultation on the Taseko mine project in the Cariboo, the B.C. Liberals have a terrible record on aboriginal relations.
“They should step up now and ensure that the Gitanyow are engaged in meaningful consultations before this project goes ahead.”
The B.C. New Democrats are working on solutions to ensure that natural resources are used effectively to create jobs in British Columbia, while still respecting First Nations, environmental sustainability and local community needs.