harper

  • Harper cabinet readies major B.C. pipelines push

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    canal: DID News

    Harper cabinet readies major B.C. pipelines push

    B.C. First Nations leaders to meet with key federal officials Sept. 23 in Vancouver

    By CHRIS HALLl

    A parade of cabinet ministers and senior bureaucrats will head to British Columbia starting next week as part of a major push to mollify opponents of building oil pipelines to the West Coast, CBC News has learned.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper is signalling he intends to make progress on proposals to connect Alberta's oilsands with ports in British Columbia and the lucrative Asian markets beyond.

    The new initiative is in large part a response to a report from the prime minister's special pipelines representative in British Columbia. Douglas Eyford told Harper last month that negotiations with First Nations — especially on Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway — are a mess.

    Eyford's report to the prime minister, and his final report in November, will not be made public.

    But sources tell CBC News Eyford urged the federal government take the lead role in dealing with Indian bands on both the Gateway project and the proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans-Mountain pipeline.

    First Nations leaders in B.C. confirm they are to meet on Sept. 23 in Vancouver with a delegation of deputy ministers from Aboriginal Affairs, Natural Resources, Environment and other departments with direct oversight of the proposed projects.

    Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, said the request to meet came out of the blue on Thursday, with no agenda — and no indication of what Ottawa is prepared to offer.

    "I have a sinking feeling that perhaps they're covering their backsides in terms of a consultation record,'' Phillip said in an interview from Vancouver. "And looking towards laying the groundwork that will be necessary when the decision is finally made by Prime Minister Harper and the cabinet, regardless of what the joint review panel comes forward with in terms of an approval or a rejection of these proposed projects.''

    Federal bureaucrats aren't the only ones with orders to head to B.C.

    Starting Monday, Harper has directed key ministers on the file to promote the projects in the province.

    Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver will continue to be the lead minister. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt will be in B.C. all next week, although the primary reason for his trip is to attend hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Others planning trips before Thanksgiving are Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq.

    Phillip said they have all asked for meetings with First Nations.

    Adding to the sudden flurry of interest from politicians, Phillip said B.C. Premier Christy Clark wrote to request a sit-down with them too, proposing a time that actually overlaps with the federal meeting.

    "I find it very disturbing … that there's such an urgency attached to both letters," Phillip said, noting the chiefs had heard nothing from the politicians for months, until now.

    Energy superpower — or pipe dream?

    Federal sources say the objective is to work proactively to convince First Nations, community groups, and B.C.'s government that moving oil through the province is good for the economy, and good for them.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper is making a push to convince B.C. Premier Christy Clark, background, and B.C. First Nations to drop their opposition to proposed pipelines carrying Alberta oil and gas through the province for export. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

    It's the second prong in a fall campaign to realize Harper's vision of Canada as an energy superpower, a vision that so far remains just a pipe dream, when so much of the country's vast oil deposits remain in landlocked Alberta.

    CBC News reported last week that Harper wrote U.S. President Barack Obama in late August to propose joint standards for reduced greenhouse gas emissions for the oil and gas sector in both countries, in return for presidential approval of the proposed $7-billion Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

    And now comes the new overtures in British Columbia, complete with a more conciliatory tone from the federal Conservatives, who until now have opted largely for confrontation over co-operation with pipeline opponents.

    Sources tell CBC News that the Prime Minister's Office met recently with First Nations representatives, asking what Ottawa could do to address their concerns.

    The meeting on Sept. 23 is a followup. Representatives from the B.C. Assembly of First Nations and Coastal First Nations are also invited.

    First Nations focus

    Federal officials say they aren't there to make specific offers, but to engage groups directly affected by both the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline to Kitimat, B.C., and Kinder Morgan's Trans-Mountain pipeline to Burnaby, B.C.

    Ottawa is also increasing its efforts to appease the B.C. premier. Clark set out five conditions to approve the controversial Northern Gateway project, including improved methods to prevent and clean up spills and a bigger share of revenues for the province.

    Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is one of the Harper ministers who will be spending more time in B.C. over the next few weeks. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

    Ottawa already responded to some of these demands, for example, announcing new regulations last spring to improve the safety of oil tankers and oil-handling terminals, raising the corporate liability for offshore spills to $1 billion and imposing a new set of fines of up to $100,000 for safety breaches that, if unaddressed, could lead to more serious problems.

    But dealing with the concerns of First Nations bands remains the biggest challenge.

    Federal officials acknowledge that Enbridge did a poor job in dealing with bands along the proposed Gateway route. Media reports suggest the company now faces a nearly impossible task to earn local support.

    The outlook is better, if not exactly rosy, for U.S. based Kinder Morgan’s plans to twin its Trans-Mountain pipeline that runs from Edmonton through Kamloops to Burnaby.

    At least three First Nations oppose the plan, which would triple the amount of crude oil being transported each day to 890,000 barrels. Area Indian bands say the line is old and prone to leaks.

    One of the communities, the Coldwater Indian Band near Merritt, will be in a B.C. court Oct. 30 looking for a judicial order that would prevent Ottawa from approving the expansion without its consent.

    The company plans to file its formal application with the National Energy Board later this year.

    In an email, Coldwater Chief Harold Aljam said his band has met with Eyford, but no one from the federal government has contacted the band for a further meeting.

    Coldwater, he said, is still preparing to go to court.

    Big stakes

    For First Nations, the fear is the Harper government intends to push through both pipeline proposals no matter what.

    Much of the discussion will be about the economic benefits of the projects and the role the pipelines will play in diversifying Canada’s energy exports.

    Ottawa is feeling the pressure from the oil and gas industry, as well as other business groups.

    In a report to be released next week, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce says being captive to the U.S. market now costs Canadian oil producers $50 million a day. Of that, $10 million is lost tax revenues to various levels of government.

    The message: someone has to show the political courage to push through pipelines.

    And that person, no doubt, will be Stephen Harper. The man with the pipe dreams.

    www.cbc.ca

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    uploaded date: 15-10-2013

  • UN Special Rapporteur to gauge aboriginal peoples' progress

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    canal: DID News

    James Anaya's visit comes at delicate time for federal government's relationship with First Nations

    By Karina Roman

    CBC News

    The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is about to put Canada under a microscope.

    James Anaya is arriving this weekend, before embarking on a nine-day tour of the country, starting Monday.

    He will meet with aboriginal people, as well as government officials and even natural resource industry representatives.

    Anaya's predecessor visited in 2003 and his final report was not flattering to Canada. It highlighted the continuing inequalities that aboriginal people face in Canada, in terms of economic and social rights, education, housing and health.

    "The purpose of my visit is to take stock of what progress has been made," Anaya told CBC News in an interview from his office at the law faculty of the University of Arizona. "That past report does serve as a benchmark of sorts for my visit."

    In February of 2012, Anaya asked the Canadian government if he could come visit.

    He didn't hear back until more than a year later, just this past spring.

    "Of course I would have liked to have earlier acceptance of the visit, but I'm more pleased that it was eventually accepted," he said.

    Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo. (Canadian Press)

    Anaya's visit comes at a critical time for indigenous peoples. In an interview with CBC News, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo outlined why.

    "Deep impoverishment, over 600 murdered, missing indigenous women and girls, underfunding in education, challenging Canada at the Canadian Human Rights Commission," he listed, adding that Anaya's visit will be "the holding up of a mirror, reflecting back to Canada, about its relationship with First Nations."

    But the UN Special Rapporteur's visit also comes at a critical time for the federal government.

    Resource development

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper has staked the future prosperity of the country on natural resource development, much of which would take place on or near indigenous lands.

    Anaya said it is clear what those industries need to do.

    "If the extractive activities go forward, it (must) be done so with the consent of the indigenous people concerned and consistent with their own aspirations for development," Anaya said.

    Without proper consultation, Anaya warned what will happen.

    "There's going to be social conflict and typically the projects aren't going to be sustainable, not just because of the social conflict but because of the inability of the project to go forward without the active support of the people most affected by the activity."

    www.cbc.ca

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    uploaded date: 04-10-2013

  • First Nation's Plea to Stop the Canada-China FIPA

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    canal: Isuma News

    The Hupacasath First Nation's plea for help from the Canadian public:

    Earlier this year the Hupacasath First Nation took the Harper government to court to challenge FIPA - a reckless investor deal that would expose Canada to unlimited risk from costly lawsuits in secretive tribunals and undermine the rights of our democratically elected governments for the next 31 years.1

    Thanks to the generous donations from thousands of Canadian individuals and organizations, the Hupacasath’s legal team were able to take their case in federal court in Vancouver on June 5th-7th.

    Unfortunately, the judge sided with the government. Incredibly, the judge said that he considered the Hupacasath's expert witness, internationally renowned Canadian professor Gus Van Harten, to be biased, and discounted his testimony. Instead the judge chose to base his decision on testimony from the government's witness, an investor-state arbitrator.2-4

    Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, responded swiftly to say that the ruling was “absurd” given the obvious impacts of the FIPA on First Nations rights and title, and the complete lack of constitutionally guaranteed consultation from the federal government.3

    The good news is this legal battle isn’t over yet. The Hupacasath’s lawyers believe they have grounds for an appeal, and the Hupacasath are prepared to take this case to the next level.

    The Hupacasath are ready to stand up for all of us, but they can’t do it alone - especially now that the Harper Conservatives have asked the courts to force the Hupacasath to pay over $100,000 in costs for the government’s legal team and expert witnesses. 

    Historically, Canadians have not been forced to pay the government’s costs in constitutional challenges where the public interest is at stake. What does it say about the state of our democracy that our government would refuse to bring a sweeping investor agreement before Parliament, and then force Canadians to pay punitive legal fees for challenging them in court?

    The Hupacasath are refusing to be intimidated by this new hurdle. Their band council has agreed to appeal the judge’s ruling, but the appeal can only go forward if we can raise $300,000 to pay the costs and legal fees before Thursday, September 26th to meet the strict deadline for filing an appeal.

    Over 6,000 people have already donated for this legal challenge, and if we all give just $3 today we can cover the costs and fully fund the appeal immediately. 

    If we can raise $110,000, we can cover the draconian fee that the government has imposed on the Hupacasath. 

    If we can raise $300,000 by September 26th then we can fully fund an appeal, ensure the Hupacasath will not be saddled with debt, and take the fight to the next level.

    If we raise more than $110,000, but less than $300,000, the remaining money will go to turn up the pressure in key Conservative MP ridings. 

    We can do amazing things when we stand together. By sharing the load, Canadians from coast to coast to coast already raised well over $150,000 to cover the costs of the initial legal challenge.

    Now, it’s up to you to decide whether or not this appeal will go forward.

    When this fight to stop FIPA started a year ago no one would have ever thought that we would get this far. From the beginning, we’ve had a two part strategy of challenging this FIPA in the courts while putting pressure on Conservative MPs to stop this reckless investor deal - and it’s succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations.

    The legal challenge from this small 300 person First Nation has successfully delayed ratification of the Canada-China FIPA and raised awareness across Canada. They’ve taken on this David and Goliath battle to defend their own rights and title and to defend the rights and interests of all Canadians. 

    Can you chip in $3 or more today? Please click here to make a secure donation to the legal fund:

    http://leadnow.ca/fipa-legal


    With hope and respect,

    Matthew, Stefan, Cam, Jamie and Julia on behalf of the Leadnow.ca team

    p.s. We understand that not everyone can donate. If you’re not in a position to contribute to this legal challenge, please just take a minute to forward this message to friends and family who may be able to help. Here’s the link to share -- http://www.leadnow.ca/fipa-legal -- and thank you for all that you do

    p.p.s. If you’d like to donate by cheque, send your cheque payable to “Leadnow” to:

    Leadnow.ca
    PO Box 2091, Stn Terminal

    Vancouver, BC

    V6B 3T2

    (Please include a note so that we know your donation is for the FIPA legal challenge.)

    Or if you’d prefer to donate by phone, call 1-855-LEADN0W (1‑855‑532‑3609) extension 2.

    Further reading

    This statement from Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, covers some of the central problems with the judge’s ruling:

    "The Union of BC Indian Chiefs refuse to accept the Government of Canada's argument that there is no 'causal link' or 'potential adverse impacts' on our constitutionally-enshrined and judicially-recognized Aboriginal rights and the ratification of FIPA. The Court wholeheartedly accepted Canada's argument. First Nations leadership across this country are facing a federal government who stated in court that they do not need to nor ever intend to ever consult any First Nation regarding any trade agreement. The Court responded this total lack of consultation 'would not contravene the principle of the honour of the Crown or Canada's duty to consult' That is absurd, unconscionable and incredibly offensive,"

    Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.2


    Sources:

    [1] Our old campaign page contains extensive background on the Canada-China FIPA: http://www.leadnow.ca/stop-fipa

    [2] Bio: Gus Van Harten, Osgoode Law Schoool
    http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/faculty/full-time/gus-van-harten

    [3] Judge's decision, Hupacasath First Nation v the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General of Canada.
    http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/rss/Hupacasath%20En.pdf

    [4] Bio: J. Christopher Thomas, National University of Singapore
    http://cil.nus.edu.sg/about-2/cil-team-2/christopher-thomas/

    [5] Hupacasath Disappointed with Federal Judicial Review of Canada-China FIPA: http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/News_Releases/UBCICNews08271301.html

    [6] Photo credit: Gary McNutt, 2013.

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    uploaded date: 26-09-2013

  • Canada to Fund Diamond Mapping, Mining Training

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    canal: Isuma News

    Canada is renewing its Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals program, with a $100 million commitment over seven years from the federal budget. That follows a previous allocation of $100 million over five years from the federal budget in 2008.
     
    The increased reliable geological information will increase investment from companies conducting exploration, including diamond companies. Canada also has gold, rare earths, copper, zinc and lead deposits.

    The minerals industry has played an important role to date in facilitating northern development, with GDP contributions in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut of 24.2% and 26%, respectively. In 2012, these areas attracted nearly $450 million in exploration investment.

    The GEM program renewal follows skills training announcements from Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a recent northern tour. This includes $5.8 million over two years to support the Northwest Territories Mine Training Society for a new mining sector-skills training program in the Northwest Territories and in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut.

    Harper also announced support for the creation of a new Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining, a $5.6 million investment over four years. Both programs aim to help Aboriginal peoples and northerners obtain the training and skills required for well-paying and highly-technical positions in the growing mining industry.

    www.israelidiamond.co.il

     

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    uploaded date: 03-09-2013

  • Nunavut anxious for self-control, Premier tells Harper

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    canal: Isuma News

    By STEVEN CHASE

    Aariak presses Harper to relinquish Ottawa's control over its land and resources

    Nunavut, Canada's youngest territory, is getting impatient for the federal government to hand the jurisdiction province-like control over its land and resources, saying the intense international focus on the region makes a handover all the more urgent.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper got an earful from Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak on the topic when he stopped in Rankin Inlet on Thursday on his annual summer tour of Northern Canada.

    "I find things are moving very, very slowly," Ms. Aariak told reporters. "I am getting more and more concerned about the fact that the start of devolution negotiations is taking longer than expected."

    Nunavut came into being in 1999 when it was split from the Northwest Territories, but the federal government has retained control over some powers traditionally exercised by provinces.

    The Northwest Territories inked a consensus agreement with Ottawa in June that would transfer decision-making authority over Crown land, water and natural resources to the territorial government and aboriginal groups, as well as a share of royalties paid by companies that extract minerals or energy.

    Sparsely populated Nunavut, where more than 31,000 people live, wants a similar arrangement. "Nunavut is the last remaining jurisdiction to have decisions about its land and resources made by ministers in Ottawa," Ms. Aariak said.

    Mining projects dot Nunavut, but the expectation is that devolution, or this power transfer, could spur more development, as it is expected to do in neighbouring NWT.

    The Northwest Passage – the sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans – runs through Nunavut and melting ice is making it easier for shipping through the Arctic archipelago. This also increases the risk of environmentally damaging marine disasters in the area.

    "The world is looking at Nunavut and the Arctic," Ms. Aariak said. "Resource development is happening and the shipping season is getting longer and longer due to changes in sea-ice conditions."

    The Prime Minister's Office did not publicly discuss the meeting between Mr. Harper and Ms. Aariak, but the Premier released a statement on Thursday saying the Conservative Leader told her that Ottawa "would be ready to engage in substantive negotiations before 2014." However, the Premier's Office later changed the statement, eliminating this phrase and instead saying the Nunavut leader was "pleased that Prime Minister Harper once again confirmed his support for devolution."

    Mr. Harper is nearing the end of his annual summer tour of the Arctic.

    While in Rankin Inlet, a hamlet on northwestern Hudson Bay, he announced funds to finish mapping the geology of the Canadian North, a project expected to take until 2020 and generate data that will be used by companies to uncover more energy and mineral wealth in the area.

    The $100-million will help fund a geological mapping program that creates more detailed surveys of what lies beneath the ground in Arctic and sub-Arctic Canada. It will help identify areas of high potential for gold, nickel, rare metals, base metals and diamonds.

    The prospecting industry estimates that the mapping will generate at least $500-million in exploration efforts by private companies.

    "Our investment will continue to unlock the full economic, mineral and energy potential of the region, while generating new government revenues, private-sector investment and jobs," Mr. Harper said.

    The Geo-Mapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) program was launched in 2008.

    www.theglobeandmail.com

     

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    uploaded date: 26-08-2013

  • Idle No More

    uploaded by: Idle No More

    This channel is a compilation of videos, articles, and photos documenting Idle No More activities. Idle No More is an ongoing movement of among aboriginal peoples and their non-aboriginal supporters across the world. The movement has inspired protests in towns and cities across Canada, the US, and other countries.… Leer más

    uploaded date: 26-03-2013