Snuneymuxw chief worries about pipeline
Snuneymuxw First Nation chief Doug White fears for the First Nations and other people along B.C.'s coast if the proposed Enbridge Gateway pipeline proceeds.
White is also a member of the political executive of the province's First Nations Summit Task Group, which sent an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper last week over their concerns about the controversial pipeline project.
The task group believes recent statements from the Conservative government indicate it has already pre-determined the outcome of the pipeline proposal even before the panel responsible for assessing its impacts has completed its public hearings on the issue.
The proposal is to construct a pipeline from Alberta to Kitimat that would see crude oil exported to Asian markets by oil tankers, and there are deep concerns among coastal communities about the environmental impacts of the project.
White said the possibility of a dramatic increase of an activity in the area that could have devastating environmental consequences is a "serious concern" for everyone connected to the coast, including the Snuneymuxw.
He said he's also concerned about the fact that Ottawa seems to be supporting the project even though there is so much resistance from coastal First Nation communities.
"The rhetoric the federal government is using when discussing the pipeline is quite remarkable," he said. "Ottawa seems to be willing to put First Nations at great risk while the only ones who will benefit from the pipeline is Alberta, China and the oil companies."