Tag Archives: Petronas

Blueberry River First Nations beat B.C. in court. Now everything’s changing

By Matt Simmons, The Narwhal, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Apart from a little pocket of land on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, Blueberry River First Nations territory is an industrial wasteland. At a walking pace, it only takes about three minutes to stumble onto some kind of development. It’s a land of pipelines, clearcuts and gas rigs. But things are about to change.

After winning a hard-fought case before the B.C. Supreme Court in 2021, the Treaty 8 nation reached a final agreement with the province on Jan. 18. The agreement charts a path forward from a past where the province excluded the community from resource decisions and infringed on the nation’s constitutionally protected rights. Two days later, B.C. signed agreements with four neighbouring nations: Doig River, Halfway River, Saulteau and Fort Nelson. Collectively, the agreements represent a way out of conflict and a shared goal to heal the land. 

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Document reveals influence of oil and gas lobbyists on B.C. officials after Indigenous Rights ruling

By Matt Simmons, The Narwhal, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

In the wake of a precedent-setting Indigenous Rights case in June 2021, B.C.’s ministry of energy did something rather unprecedented: it immediately cancelled summer auctions for new oil and gas tenures.

This sudden closure of oil and gas opportunities in response to the Blueberry decision — a B.C. Supreme Court ruling, which determined the province violated the Treaty Rights of Blueberry River First Nations by permitting and encouraging damaging industrial development — sent a shudder through the industry that continues to reverberate across the country today.

Documents  released to The Narwhal through freedom of information legislation show  petroleum and natural gas (PNG) lobbyists told public servants that  B.C. could lose more than $90 million in annual revenue and up to 10,000  jobs as a result of the Blueberry decision. These stark warnings were  then passed on to senior B.C. government officials, including Fazil  Mihlar, deputy minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.

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Bringing COP 21 Home To Canada

By Roy L Hales

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Though she is still vague as to how things will come about, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has been spreading hope around Paris.  Her emphasis on the need to enshrine “the importance of respecting human rights, including the rights of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples” in the Climate Change Agreement begs the question what about Canada. McKenna responded this morning, in a press conference where she talked about bringing COP 21 home to Canada

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Luutkudziiwus Were Not Consulted

By Roy L Hales

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The Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project’s website proudly displays press releases about their agreements with the Lake Babine, Kitselas and Gitanyou First Nations. They also display the results of a 2014 poll that reports most of the people along the proposed pipeline route support them. The BC government has already issued construction permit and environmental assessment permit. Yet, according to their lawyer, the Luutkudziiwus were not consulted about the 34 km stretch of pipeline that would cross their traditional territory to carry 2 billion to 3.6 billion cubic feet of gas, per day, from Hudson’s Hope to the proposed LNG facility on Lelu Island.

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Opposition to the proposed LNG project on Lelu Island

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The Skeena River is one of the most productive salmon bearing rivers in British Columbia. Thousands of years before the first European colonists arrived, it was providing First Nations with food. A week ago, First Nations throughout the Skeena Watershed declared their opposition to the proposed LNG project on Lelu Island, grave lack of consultation and massive damage to salmon habitat.

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