January 13, 2015 - 12:22 PM
VANCOUVER - Two First Nations have launched a court challenge against the B.C. government, saying the province shirked its responsibility by failing to make a decision on the Northern Gateway project.
The Gitga'at First Nation and the Coastal First Nations say a proposed pipeline would put their coastal communities at risk of potential oil spills.
They argue the province signed an agreement to partner with the federal government without consulting them about the project in violation of their rights.
The First Nations say B.C.'s agreement with the National Energy Board meant it gave up power to review the project and impose tougher measures to protect the environment.
Coastal First Nations spokesman Art Sterritt says the province made a legal mistake by avoiding responsibility on the future of the project.
The Gitga'at have already asked the Federal Court of Appeal to recognize the band's aboriginal title along the proposed tanker route where ships would carry oil from the pipeline.
The proposed tanker route leaving from Kitimat, B.C. is show on a map Thursday, Sept, 19, 2013. Some time in the next 10 days, the federal government is supposed to announce its final decision on the Northern Gateway pipeline - the multibillion-dollar political minefield dividing the West.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
News from © The Canadian Press, 2015