Solidarity Accord aligns First Nations with supporters from across Canadian society ahead of a Joint Review Panel decision on the project
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA/COAST SALISH TERRITORY--(Marketwired - Dec. 5, 2013) - The Yinka Dene Alliance (YDA) has welcomed a new signatory to the Save the Fraser Declaration and has also launched a new Solidarity Accord, backed by some of Canada and BC's most powerful unions, as well as a host of local leaders from tourism businesses, municipal government, health and conservation organizations.
The Save the Fraser Declaration is an indigenous law banning tar sands pipelines and tankers from crossing BC, signed by representatives of over 130 First Nations.
Chief Archie Patrick of the Stellat'en First Nation signed the declaration, just moments before the launch of the new Solidarity Accord by Unifor, the BC Teachers' Federation, the BC Wilderness Tourism Association, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and the David Suzuki Foundation among others.
The Stellat'en First Nation is one of many First Nations along the proposed pipeline route that Enbridge has been trying to woo for years.
"First Nations opposition to Enbridge's project just keeps growing," said Chief Martin Louie of the Nadleh Whut'en First Nation. "Never before have we been joined by such a vast range of supporters from across Canadian society. This gives the alliance greater strength for the fight ahead and shows the magnitude and power of public opposition to this pipeline that is proposed to cross over our territories."
Through the Solidarity Accord, non-First Nations organizations and individuals pledge to stand with First Nations in upholding the Save the Fraser Declaration and stopping the Enbridge project, with a new website launching at www.holdthewall.ca.
"The Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project is simply too risky a proposal for our industry to support," said Jim DeHart, President of the BC Wilderness Tourism Association. "An oil spill would affect the major rivers or coastline of BC and threaten the entire provincial tourism industry. That's why we're signing this accord today."
"Unifor is proud to stand in solidarity with First Nations as they resist the Enbridge Northern Gateway project," said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Area Director for BC. "It's time for a new vision for Canada's energy industry - one that addresses the reality of aboriginal title and rights, respects our social and environmental commitments, and generates lasting wealth for all who live here."
The Save the Fraser Solidarity Accord may be found online at: http://savethefraser.ca/SolidarityAccord-nov2013.pdf.
Nadleh Whut'en First Nation
Chief Martin Louie
Yinka Dene Alliance
Geraldine Thomas Flurer
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 4, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Coalspur Mines Limited (ASX:CPL) (TSX:CPT) ("Coalspur" or "Company") announced today that it has entered into separate agreements with each of the Ermineskin Cree Nation ("Ermineskin") and the Whitefish (Goodfish) Lake First Nation, two of the four parties granted intervener status by the Alberta Energy Regulator ("AER"). Ermineskin and Whitefish will now withdraw as interveners in relation to Coalspur's Vista project.
-- Coalspur and the Ermineskin Cree Nation and the Whitefish (Goodfish) Lake
First Nation have concluded agreements in relation to the development of
the Vista project
-- The agreements entered into provide mutually beneficial opportunities to
all parties, enhance environmental monitoring and mitigate impacts on the
First Nations' traditional land uses
-- Ermineskin and Whitefish will withdraw as interveners in relation to the
-- Including these two agreements, Coalspur has to date concluded five
agreements with aboriginal communities relating to Vista
-- Negotiations with the two remaining interveners, Tourmaline Oil Corp. and
Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation continue to progress
The agreements formalize the relationships between the parties and create mutually beneficial opportunities for community development, infrastructure and business opportunities, as well as ensure First Nation participation in ongoing environmental monitoring of Coalspur's operations.
"Coalspur has engaged with numerous aboriginal communities for over two years and agreements have been reached with three other groups through this consultation process. These additional two agreements reinforce the strong support for Vista from the local community and demonstrate Coalspur's commitment to engage with the First Nations who utilize the Hinton region for traditional purposes," said Gill Winckler, Coalspur President and CEO.
In a joint statement, Chief Makinaw (Ermineskin) and Chief Jackson (Whitefish) said, "We are pleased with the agreements and in particular the focus on direct involvement of our First Nations in ongoing environmental monitoring." Chief Makinaw added that "Coalspur worked very hard with us and came to understand that if the Vista project benefits Hinton and other communities, it also has to benefit First Nations."
Following the withdrawal of Ermineskin and Whitefish as interveners in relation to the Vista project, two interveners will remain. The concerns of the remaining interveners are limited to overlapping mineral development rights with an oil and gas company, namely Tourmaline Oil Corp., and development issues raised by the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation. The Company continues to negotiate with both these parties and believes that the concerns expressed by them are capable of being appropriately dealt with.
Coalspur is a coal development company with approximately 55,000 hectares of coal leases located within the Hinton region of Alberta, Canada. Coalspur's flagship project is Vista, which covers approximately 10,000 hectares and provides a large scale, surface mineable, thermal coal development. Vista is located adjacent to CN Rail's main line, which is suitable for the transport of coal to deepwater ports on Canada's west coast. Coalspur has secured a port allocation agreement with Ridley Terminals Inc., which is essential to the logistics supply chain necessary to export coal from Vista to the growing demand from the Asia Pacific countries.
No regulatory authority has approved or disapproved of the information contained in this release.
This release contains forward-looking information concerning Coalspur, including information regarding Coalspur's plans for Vista, the AER regulatory process, expected commencement of development and production, expected receipt of regulatory approvals or licenses, and other matters. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address events or developments that Coalspur expects to occur, are statements of forward-looking information. Although Coalspur believes that such forward-looking information is based on reasonable assumptions, such information is not a guarantee of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from the forward-looking information. Material factors or assumptions used by Coalspur to develop forward-looking information include the following: (1) that all required third party approvals will be obtained for the development, construction and production of its properties; (2) that additional financing will be available on reasonable terms; (3) there being no significant disruptions affecting operations, whether due to labour disruptions, supply disruptions, power disruptions, damage to equipment or otherwise; (4) permitting, development and expansion proceeding on a basis consistent with the Company's current expectations; (5) currency exchange rates being approximately consistent with current levels; (6) certain price assumptions for coal; (7) production forecasts meeting expectations; (8) the accuracy of the Company's current mineral resource and reserve estimates; (9) labour and materials costs increasing on a basis consistent with the Company's current expectations; and (10) assumptions made and judgments used in engineering and geological interpretation. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information, include but are not limited to: risks associated with funding requirements for Vista development; fluctuations in coal prices; uncertainties related to the availability of future financing; risks related to Coalspur's existing credit facility, risks associated with take or pay commitments with Ridley Terminals, risks associated with the need for governmental licences, permits and approvals, uncertainties related to aboriginal claims and multiple mineral development, and uncertainties related to general economic, market and business conditions. For more information on Coalspur, investors should review Coalspur's continuous disclosure filings that are available at www.sedar.com and www.asx.com.au.
CONTACT: Greg Bittar
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North America and Europe
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VP, External Affairs and Logistics
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