Tsleil-Waututh Nation Commends Government of BC for Rejecting Northern Gateway Proposal

NORTH VANCOUVER, May 31, 2013 – Tsleil-Waututh Nation is commending the Government of BC on its announcement today regarding Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline. The Province stated that it cannot support the project as presented because it has not been able to address British Columbians’ environmental concerns.

“Today we raise our hands to Premier Clark and the Government of BC for making the right decision. It reassures us that the people of British Columbia are being heard when it comes to the health of our environment,” says ChiefMaureen Thomas, Tsleil-Waututh Nation. “We feel certain that when the province applies their five criteria to Kinder Morgan’s proposal that they will find that it also fails to meet those basic standards.”

Tsleil-Waututh Nation stands firm with First Nations across BC who believe the risks associated with mega pipeline projects are too great to accept. More than 160 Nations have signed the Save the Fraser Declaration, an Indigenous law ban on tar sands pipelines through First Nations traditional territories. It also bans tar sands oil tankers in the ocean migration routes of Fraser River salmon on the north and south coasts of British Columbia.

“The announcement today goes a long way toward supporting our work here in Burrard Inlet,” says Gabriel George, Project Manager, Culture & Language, Sacred Trust Initiative. “It is our sacred trust to care for our lands and waters and ensure that pipeline projects won’t further impact the their health. We are standing up on behalf of everyone to protect these waters for future generations.”

Tsleil-Waututh Nation supports sustainable economic development. The Nation has developed and invested in TWN Wind Power, a sustainable energy company that offers communities an opportunity to generate clean energy through small wind power.

“We are now looking to Stephen Harper and the Federal Government to see how they will respond. It is now overwhelmingly clear that the vast majority of British Columbians do not support these pipelines,” continues Chief Thomas.

Tsleil-Waututh Nation is adamantly opposed to Kinder Morgan’s proposal to build a new pipeline to bring crude oil/bitumen to foreign markets through Burrard Inlet and the Salish Sea. The proposal would see the transport of crude oil expanded from its present level of approximately 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day. The pipeline terminates in Tsleil-Waututh territory. The Nation has experienced the results of crude oil handling and refining on Burrard Inlet for a number of decades. The Nation is expecting government-to-government consultation on this project.

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