Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Text Size

Landowner objects to TransCanada’s confidentiality agreement

Its ‘desire to muzzle us is unacceptable’

By Sheila Pratt, Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON - Michele Mitchell keeps a couple dozen horses and some cattle on her 17 hectares of land that TransCanada wants to cross with its proposed 900,000 barrels-a-day Grand Rapids pipeline.

Though two pipelines already cross her property near Radway, no company has ever asked her to sign a confidentially agreement until TransCanada came along, she told a regulator hearing Wednesday.

Mitchell challenged those agreements, saying they “muzzle” landowners who should be free to have open discussion of issues affecting their land.

“I find the non-disclosure agreements insulting,” she told the hearing into the proposed Grand Rapids project involving twin pipelines from Fort McMurray to the Edmonton area.

“We need to have open discussion and TransCanada’s desire to muzzle us is unacceptable,” said Mitchell, adding “this is Canada.”

Mitchell also raised the case of the northern Ontario town of Mattawa which signed such an agreement last month to “not publicly comment on TransCanada’s operations or business projects” as part of a contract that saw TransCanada donate a $30,000 emergency fire services vehicle.

Mitchell also asked the panel to consider the National Energy Board audit of TransCanada pipelines that showed the company is not in compliance with federal rules in a number of areas, including hazard identification and risk assessment.

TransCanada lawyer Lars Olthaus told the panel the company had offered an alternative dispute resolution process to try to resolve the differences with Mitchell.

But Mitchell did not want to participate in another closed door process, she confirmed.

“It’s about the transparency, I want people to know what’s going on,” she said.

Meanwhile, Robert Berrien, an expert witness in utility and pipeline routes who has participated in 1,000 regulator hearings, had harsh words for TransCanada’s proposed route (Route A) that runs through Fort Saskatchewan and criticized the company’s analysis.

“These are the worst set of maps I’ve ever seen,” said Berrien, noting they are mostly too small to be readable for the public.

For instance, the company identified three wetlands on its route, but Berrien said he counted 10 wetlands on the chosen route.

A second option, Route B further east, has only five wetlands, avoids urban areas and has a lower impact, follows existing disturbances on the land. “Route B is superior,” he said.

Earlier in the day, TransCanada said it intends to “continue to engage” with the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation which pulled out of the hearing late Tuesday.

“We are disappointed the ACFN has chosen to stop taking part in this hearing” and the company will “ensure” the band is kept informed and will try to mitigate its concerns,” said the release.

The hearing panel has the power to make a decision on the pipeline project, despite the absence the ACFN, AER spokesperson Darin Barter said.

But without the ACFN participation, the panel cannot make reference to their specific concerns when it makes its decision, he added.

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Education & Training

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...

OBIDIAH

obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

JOBS

First Nations Cultural Interpreter PM – 02 Riding Mountain National Park Seasonal Indeterminate

(May to October) From $54,543 to $58,764

Closing Sept. 19, 2014

Read More

Regional Media Officer– Temp (Until Nov 2015) –F/T Position

Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition / NDP Research Office

Location:131 Queen Street, Suite 10-02, Ottawa, ON

Responsibilities

Communicate regularly with regional media outlets (community newspapers, radio stations, student media, ethnic media, etc.) to propose ideas for interviews and opinion content Read more...

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Workforce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlights initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples. 

Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce (December 2013)  

click image to download report

Tue Sep 23 @ 3:00PM - 04:15PM
FNHMA National Conference 2014
Sun Oct 05 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM
INIHKD & Manitoba NEAHR Conference 2014

EVENTS

September 2014
S M T W T F S
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
imageimageimageimage
cartoonscartoonscartoonscartoons

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday

 

Thanks to Althea Guiboche for allowing The First Perspective to share her video taken at the Manitowapow book launch at McNally Robinson. 

Percey sings Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and people join in to harmonize. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): The Washington Redskins