OTTAWA – Cathy McLeod, Member of Parliament for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo and Opposition critic for Indigenous Affairs, questioned the Liberal government last week regarding its mixed messages on the approval process of the development of Canada’s natural resources.
“During the election campaign, the prime minister stated that First Nations would have veto power over natural resource projects in their jurisdiction. He pledged that if First Nations said no, the project would not proceed. But now, the prime minister appears to be doing the opposite. In a visit with the Alberta premier earlier this month, he appeared to back away from this election pledge,” said McLeod.
“Clearly the prime minister has confused this issue for both the natural resource industry and First Nations. Does he not understand that uncertainty hurts both prospective development and Indigenous communities?” questioned McLeod.
In response, the government once again said it is consulting without any clear process or deadlines, McLeod reported. Further, when asked about an ‘indigenous license’ to proceed with pipeline development, the answer was again vague.
“As we look at the declining economic forecasts, it is clear that we need the Canadian government to start supporting our energy sector and the jobs it brings, rather than endless consulting, barriers of red tape, and the preferential treatment of foreign oil over our Canadian resources,” concluded McLeod.