Half right

More is needed to involve northwest in burgeoning energy industry

PRIME MINISTER Stephen Harper got it half right with the March 19 announcement of what’s called a “special federal representative” to clear the turbulent waters of unextinguished aboriginal rights and title laid against industrial development, specifically the transport and export of fuels of one type or another.

The federal government has not only a constitutional duty regarding aboriginal people, there are substantial legal precedents in place as well as political, economic and moral arguments justifying the appointment.

That, however, leaves the remainder of the population along the various pipeline routes and facility locations left without a direct connection to decision making and participation.

As much as it is correct to appoint a special federal representative for aboriginal issues, the scope and scale of development proposed or otherwise (what is it this week? $40 billion? $60 billion?) is such a tsunami affecting everyone that a case can be made for a similar position for the rest of the region’s population.

Various governments, mostly provincial, have experimented with specific offices for northern affairs before. None were successful. Most times they were regarded as public relations gestures and tossed aside with a change in political winds.

Federal natural resources minister Joe Oliver called the representative appointment a “seminal moment” in history. If that’s the case, let’s broaden that historical moment.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

School District 82’s first week of in-person class is in the books

First classes held since schools closed March 17 due to COVID-19 pandemic

Skeena Valley Farmers Market looks to reopen

Market switched to online format earlier this year in response to pandemic

Two per cent hotel tax coming to Terrace and Thornhill

Tax comes into effect on Sept. 1, will support Kermodei Tourism

‘Busier than we’ve ever seen’: Mountain biking around Terrace jumps

Terrace Off Road Cycling Association opened new trails on June 2

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

Facing changes together: your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read