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CANADA 29 Nov 2013 Special envoy due to report on opposition to pipeline projects

Canada’s incendiary issue of the moment is the push to develop energy infrastructure projects such as the Northern Ga

November 29, 2013 - NULL

CANADA 29 Nov 2013 Special envoy due to report on opposition to pipeline projects

Canada's incendiary issue of the moment is the push to develop energy infrastructure projects such as the Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines. The first would carry Alberta oil sands crude to a Pacific port. The second would send bitumen to refineries on the American Gulf Coast. An alliance of aboriginal leaders and environmentalists is preparing to step up the fight against the plans. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has sent an envoy, lawyer Douglas Eyford, to First Nation leaders in British Columbia and elsewhere to hear

CANADA 29 Nov 2013 Special envoy due to report on opposition to pipeline projects

Canada's incendiary issue of the moment is the push to develop energy infrastructure projects such as the Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines. The first would carry Alberta oil sands crude to a Pacific port. The second would send bitumen to refineries on the American Gulf Coast. An alliance of aboriginal leaders and environmentalists is preparing to step up the fight against the plans. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has sent an envoy, lawyer Douglas Eyford, to First Nation leaders in British Columbia and elsewhere to hear their concerns about the pipelines, the development of liquid natural gas plants and marine terminals. One national newspaper describes Eyford's mission as an apparent divide-and-conquer strategy. Eyford's final report is due Nov 29, with a preliminary report due on Jun 28.

A divide-and-conquer strategy recognizes that some aboriginal groups are joining the industry as developers in their own right and as service providers, and others might join them if the government and energy industry propose the right enticements.

Canada's Financial Post newspaper observes there is no deadlier combination for resources developers than joint opposition from environmentalists and First Nation, the primary organization of the country's indigenous people. The Idle No More movement of FN opponents to the pipeline plans has teamed up with Defenders of the Land, a network of indigenous environmental activists, to launch escalating action during what is being called the Sovereignty Summer in the cause of indigenous rights. The alliance could be effective: aboriginals have certain constitutionally protected rights that give them a say over development on their traditional lands, and environmentalists can be influential pressure groups.

According to a statement by the new alliance: "The Harper government's agenda is clear: to weaken all collective rights and environmental protections, in order to turn Canada into an extraction state that gives corporations unchecked power to destroy our communities and environment for profit." (WRITTEN APR 2013)

TAGS: Northern Gateway pipeline, Keystone XL pipelines, Douglas Eyford, envoy, oil sands, bitumen, Alberta oil sands, Gulf Coast, Canada, First Nation, British Columbia, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, opposition, Sovereignty Summer, Defenders of the Land, Idle No More, FN, energy news, protest news, Canada, Americas, November 2013, June 2013

RELATED READING:

Tories aim to divide, conquer with envoy (Financial Post 19 Mar 2013)
http://business.financialpost.com/2013/03/19/tories-aim-to-divide-conquer-with-envoy-who-will-canvas-first-nations-on-energy-projects/

Native leaders say they will do what it takes to stop pipelines (Calgary Herald 20 Mar 2013)
http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Native+leaders+across+Canada+stop+oilsands+pipelines/8127263/story.html

Harper names envoy for first nations concerns on pipelines and energy (Globe & Mail 19 Mar 2013)
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/harper-names-envoy-for-first-nations-concerns-on-pipelines-and-energy/article9945566/

Date written/update: 2013-11-29