Plans to Build Eastern Pipeline Must Satisfy First Nations’ Conditions Before Consent Will Be Given

August 01, 2013 Press Release

August 1, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FREDERICTON - The Assembly of First Nations’ Chiefs is reminding the Government of New Brunswick and TransCanada Corp. that the proposed Eastern Pipeline must meet three conditions before consent will be given to build on traditional First Nations territory.

1.       Ensure the full protection of the environment;

2.       Ensure the full protection of the ability to exercise Aboriginal and Treaty Rights;

3.       If conditions 1 and 2 are met, then meaningful participation of First Nations’ in the management of any pipeline and all benefits arising from it.

Reports in this morning’s media indicate that TransCanada Corp. and Premier David Alward are set to officially announce plans to extend a pipeline from Western Canadian oil sands to Quebec and then Saint John. Any route through the Province of New Brunswick will have to cross traditional territories never ceded to the Crown.

Now that the project has been announced the Crown has a constitutionally required legal duty to consult First Nations People through their elected representatives. Duty to consult is triggered automatically when a project could impact the ability of First Nations People to exercise their Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.

The Assembly remains open to the idea of developing natural resource projects, but not at the expense of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. The Chiefs hold their responsibilities as stewards of the environment in sacred trust, and will avail themselves of any means necessary, legal or otherwise, to protect those Rights.

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The AFNCNB a rights based organization mandated to protect and advance the implementation of existing Aboriginal and Treaty Rights for its member First Nations in New Brunswick. The Assembly represents 14 of New Brunswick’s 15 First Nations communities, and derives its authority from the duly elected Chiefs of each of its member communities.

Media Contact: Mike Girard, 1-506-455-1881