Musqueam First Nation to Host Province-Wide Marine Traffic and Tanker Safety Summit: June 9-10, 2014
COAST SALISH TRADITIONAL TERRITORY, May 12, 2014 /CNW/ - The Musqueam people, a proud member of the Salish Nation, are hosting a conference on Marine Traffic and Tanker Safety June 9 & 10, 2014. The two-day Summit will include First Nations from throughout British Columbia and Washington State, Senior Federal and Provincial Politicians, and industry. The goal of this working session is to provide First Nations attendees information on marine traffic related to energy development in order to make properly informed decisions.
Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow states, "We have carefully monitored other energy-related summits over the past year. It is our philosophy to protect our waters and fisheries resources while engaging in respectful dialogue with other First Nations, governments, and industry on responsible sustainable development."
The event is intended to create an opportunity for political dialogue among the First Nations leaders as it relates to marine safety, tanker traffic, and energy development.
In December 2013 two important reports related to marine tanker traffic were publicly released. The report by special representative Doug Eyford on Aboriginal Canadians and Energy development "Forging Partnerships, Building Relationships" has considerable and significant references and recommendations with respect to marine and tanker safety. The Tanker Safety Panel Secretariat report "A Review of Canada's Ship-Source Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Regime" contains 45 recommendations to improve Canada's preparedness for oil spills from tankers and barges. The Provincial government also released a "Land-Based Spill Preparedness and Response" report last month.
These reports recognize the critical importance of engaging First Nations in all aspects of energy development initiatives by Canada, the provinces and industry proponents.
First Nations in BC have convened conferences on energy resource development in Prince Rupert, Prince George, Ft St John, and Ft Nelson. The focus of these sessions has largely been on upstream and midstream development and some focus on development of LNG facilities in the northern coastal areas of the province. Musqueam seeks to continue this dialogue to make the best-informed decisions.