- Category: news
- Created: Friday, 18 October 2013 16:24
- Published: Friday, 18 October 2013 16:24
- Written by Administrator 3
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Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett was in Fort St. John earlier this month for the B.C Energy Conference, but he is now being criticized for not taking the time to meet with local First Nations representatives. Treaty 8 Tribal Chief Liz Logan is calling it a “brush off”, saying it’s in contradiction with the B.C. Government saying it is “forging strong relationships with First Nations” on resource development.
“The Minister is sending B.C.’s First Nations the wrong message by visiting territories and not taking the time to build relationships, listen to concerns and discuss alternatives,” she argues. “This approach is evidence that the current government is merely paying lip service to Treaty 8 while letting resource development run rampant and out of control in BC’s north. This approach should raise concern for more than First Nations, it should raise alarm for all British Columbians about a government that is lacking accountability and refusing public process when it comes to energy and resources.”
While at the conference, Bennett spoke about the Site C dam, a project Logan says she has twice reached out to him to discuss concerns and suggest alternatives that would have “far less impact”.
“In addition to cost, this project will create massive environmental concerns and great impacts to the Treaty 8 First Nations who depend on the Peace RiverValley for their way of life,” she says. “Disappointingly, the Minister was either unwilling or unable to walk two blocks from the conference site to the Treaty 8 offices.”
In response, a Ministry spokesperson says, “We have received the meeting request and are working to find a suitable time to meet with the Chief.”