Nation warns that sessions may be the only official forum for public to voice concerns
NORTH VANCOUVER, BC, Nov. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Tsleil-Waututh Nation is calling on Lower Mainland residents and all British Columbians to attend and respectfully voice their concerns at the upcoming Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline information sessions. These sessions may be the only formal opportunity for residents to let the company know what they think of its pipeline proposal.
As part of its Trans Mountain pipeline application process, Kinder Morgan will have to demonstrate public support through consultation and engagement with communities that may be impacted by their proposal.
"It is crucial that residents attend these open houses. Unless the public voices its concerns through this forum, their silence may be deemed as consent," says Chief Justin George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation. "We call on all people to make their voices heard."
Kinder Morgan is releasing dates for upcoming open houses, and has announced dates and locations for the following Lower Mainland communities:
North Shore Neighborhood House
225 East 2nd Street
|4pm - 7 pm|
|6 November||Belcarra||Municipal Hall, 4084 Bedwell Bay Road||5pm - 7pm|
|7 November||West Vancouver||Kay Meek Centre, 1700 Mathers Ave||4pm - 7pm|
|10 November||Bowen Island||
Bowen Island Community School
1041 Mt Gardner Road
|2:30 - 4:30pm|
|13 November||East Vancouver||
Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), Hastings Room
2901 East Hastings Street
|5pm - 8pm|
Harbour Centre, Segal Hall
515 West Hastings Street
|5pm - 8pm|
|17 November||West Point Grey||Aberthau Mansion, 4397 West 2nd Ave||5pm - 8pm|
According to Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain website, a Burnaby session should be held between November 19 and 25. Dates and details for other communities will likely also be announced through that site: http://talk.transmountain.com/key_date/index/1.
While these forums may be the only mechanism for the general public to officially voice their concerns, Tsleil-Waututh will not be attending. As a sovereign government, Tsleil-Waututh holds title and rights protected under the Canadian Constitution and will not participate bilaterally with Kinder Morgan in any process that may be legally styled at some point as "consultation" with respect to the pipeline project and its approval processes.
Governments have a legal obligation to consult with First Nations. Tsleil-Waututh expects informed, meaningful government-to-government consultation on the Trans Mountain pipeline proposal. The Nation is clear that the federal government cannot entirely delegate its legal obligation to consult and accommodate First Nations to third parties such as Kinder Morgan.
"Our constitutionally recognized rights and title empower our voice, and we will exercise these rights in favour of a healthy environment and sustainable economy," continues Chief Justin George. "People from all backgrounds enjoy Vancouver's great quality of life and we need to unite to protect this environment for all of our future generations. It will take all of us, each voicing our opposition through the channels available to us, to stop this pipeline. When we work together with one heart, one mind, and one spirit great things can happen."
Tsleil-Waututh is adamantly opposed to Kinder Morgan's proposed pipeline project. The Nation has experienced the results of crude oil handling and refining on Burrard Inlet for a number of decades. The risks associated with the pipeline expansion are just too great for its people to accept.
About Tsleil-Waututh Nation
Tsleil-Waututh Nation is a progressive and vibrant Coast Salish community of approximately 500 members located along the shores of Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada. For more information please visit www.twnation.ca.
SOURCE Tsleil-Waututh Nation