UN envoy asked to look into Northern Gateway complaint
Requested probe into permits issued to project proponent Enbridge for exploratory work
VANCOUVER—A group of British Columbia first nations is asking the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples to investigate the actions of the provincial government on the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.
The UN envoy will be visiting Canada next week, and the Yinka Dene alliance has asked James Anaya to look into permits issued to pipeline proponent Enbridge for some exploratory work on the project.
The Yinka Dene say the permits for geotechnical drilling and tree removal should not have been granted over First Nations’ opposition.
The pipeline that would link Alberta’s oil sands with the B.C. coast, and tankers bound for markets in Asia, faces staunch opposition from many aboriginal and conservation groups.
A federal review panel will deliver its recommendations on the project to the federal minister by the end of the year, and both federal and company officials have been meeting with aboriginal and community organizations in B.C. as the deadline draws near.
The UN envoy will visit Canada from Oct. 7 to 15, and later submit a report to the UN human rights council and the Canadian government.