Stand with Lelu
The Federal government failed Canadians by approving a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility overtop of critical salmon habitat in the Skeena Estuary. The project would be the largest climate polluter in Canadian history.
The $11.4 billion facility would be built o the most important wild salmon habitat in Canada, a sandy eelgrass bed called Flora Bank where up to a billion juvenile salmon spend time every year before they go out to sea. Scientists, First Nations leaders, and conservationists have clearly stated this facility, backed by Malaysia’s state oil company Petronas, poses a grave threat to salmon.
But those who have long opposed the project – calling the Skeena estuary the “worst possible place” for an export facility – have vowed to take this fight to the next level. Aboriginal groups and SkeenaWild have been preparing to launch a series of legal actions, and are prepared to go all the way. The Skeena Corridor Nations, a powerful group of hereditary leaders from Gitanyow, Lax Kw’alaams, Wet’suwet’en, Gitxsan, Takla, Lake Babine and Haida, are exploring all political and legal options for protecting the Skeena for the long-term.
This will be expensive and we cannot do it without YOU.
PLEASE HELP PROTECT SKEENA SALMON BY DONATING TODAY. 100% of funds raised will be used to support multiple legal actions against the project.
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Adversity only brings us together and makes us strong.
Check out the press release:
Canadian Courts Asked to Block Approval of Massive Petronas LNG project
First Nations and environmentalists rally against “wrong project in the wrong place”
VANCOUVER, CANADA – Oct. 27, 2016 – First Nations and environmentalists from northwest B.C. launched multiple federal court actions today aimed at stopping construction of a “dangerous and ill-
conceived” $11.4-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project at the mouth of the Skeena River.
“Once again, we are forced to ask courts to do what our politicians seem unable to do – to honor Canada’s obligations to its Indigenous communities, and to protect our environment from catastrophic harm,” said Chief Yahaan (Donnie Wesley), of the Gitwilgyoots Tribe.
“Despite repeated requests, the federal government has failed to properly consult with our people,” said Chief Malii (Glen Williams), Chief Negotiator for the Gitanyow. “Justin Trudeau promised a new relationship with Indigenous communities. Instead, he added insult to injury by ignoring us, and giving the green light to a project that will destroy our way of life”.
In downtown Vancouver today, Wesley and Williams filed separate writs with the Federal Court, seeking a judicial review of last month’s approval by the Canadian government of the proposed Pacific Northwest LNG project. The project is majority owned by Malaysia’s state oil company, Petronas.
At the same time, they sent a letter warning Petronas, its investment partners, and the Malaysian public that the LNG project faces implacable opposition in Canada. “It doesn’t matter how much money you promise to spend in our territories – you cannot buy our assent to your project, and you will not achieve it”, the letter stated.
Petronas was alerted about today’s court actions, plans to rally international opposition, and ongoing civil disobedience to disrupt their plans to build a massive industrial facility overtop of Flora Bank, one of the most sensitive and productive salmon habitats in North America. The bank is used by hundreds of millions of juvenile salmon each spring and summer. Dating back four decades, federal fisheries scientists identified this area as a biological hotspot that should be protected.
SkeenaWild Conservation Trust filed its own judicial review of the project approval. It cites flaws in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s characterization of the project’s impacts. “The Agency gave the Environment Minister flawed information and conclusions about the project’s impacts on fish and fish habitat,” said Greg Knox, Executive Director of SkeenaWild. “We challenge the Agency’s conclusion that the project will have no significant impact on fish even though construction of the project could permanently destroy 35,000 square meters of crucial salmon habitat.”
SkeenaWild is also challenging the Agency’s failure to do a cumulative effects assessment of climate pollution from the facility. By the company and the government’s own admission, the project will become one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.
At a ceremony in Vancouver announcing the lawsuits, representatives of the Wet’suwet’en, Gitxsan, Lake Babine and Haida First Nations rallied in support of Gitwilgyoots, Gitanyow’s and SkeenaWild’s court actions. As well, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, declared strong opposition to the project. “This is a dangerous and ill-conceived attack on our environment and our Indigenous rights,” Phillip said. “Our courts have ruled that Canadian energy companies cannot run roughshod over First Nations. Well, foreign companies can’t either.”
The lawsuits filed by First Nations on Thursday cite a recent Federal Court of Appeal decision, which overturned federal approval of a permit allowing Enbridge to build its Northern Gateway oil pipeline in
the same region as the Petronas project. The court found that the company and the federal government
failed to adequately consult with Indigenous communities along the pipeline route.
“As with Enbridge, and despite repeated requests that they consult with us, Petronas and the federal government failed in their duty to listen to the ancestral owners of Lelu Island,” Yahaan said. “We have never been opposed to development. But we have always opposed industrial development on top of the most important salmon habitat we have on our coast.”
It's the Indigenous people who worship and utilize Nature or Natural resources. The immigrants, specially who profit from the resource never care. So it is rightly written in ILO 169 that the resources guardians should be the Indigenous people.
wasn't Lelu island GIVEN to natives FOR the lng project??
Please try to blame this on the large corporations and not the white population in general. Most of us fight to keep the environment from being destroyed. Seems we are lumped in with oil companies and Big Corp as defilers of your lands, and our own. Please consider. :(