bears and more • Klaus Pommerenke
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2. Januar 2016
Supreme Court schafft neue Hürde für das Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline-Projekt
Im Januar 2016 urteilte der BC Supreme Court, dass die Provinzregierung von BC ihrer Pflicht nicht nachgekommen ist, beim geplanten Bau der Northern Gateway Pipeline die vom Projekt betroffene Gitga’at First Nation von Hartley Bay und benachbarte First Nations zu konsultieren.
Im Juni 2010 hatte die Provinzregierung von BC der kanadischen Regierung das Recht abgetreten, dass das kanadische National Energy Board über Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfungen für fünf Projekte, u.a. Enbridge Northern Gateway Projekt, urteilen könne – ohne zunächst die betroffenen First Nations anzuhören. Dagegen hatten im Januar 2015 die betroffenen First Nations geklagt. Nach einjähriger Verhandlung erbrachte das jetzige Urteil den erwarteten großen Erfolg für die Gitga’at First Nations. Der Enbridge-Konzern kann mit seiner Arbeit geradezu von vorne beginnen.
In der Presseerklärung der Coastal First Nations vom 13. Januar 2016 (Supreme Court Rules BC Government Must Review Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and Consult with Gitga’at First Nation) heißt es:
“Court ruling means Enbridge pipeline must now face provincial environmental assessment decision, which includes consultation with First Nations across the province. The Gitgat’a First Nation and Coastal First Nations is celebrating a Supreme Court ruling today that found the BC government abdicated its statutory duties and breached its duty to consult with the Nation when it signed and failed to terminate an Equivalency Agreement that handed the federal National Energy Board (NEB) sole jurisdiction over the environmental assessment decision making regarding Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project.
The ruling, which is a major victory for the Gitga’at First Nation, means the equivalency agreement is invalid, that the government must now make its own environmental assessment decision regarding the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, and that it must consult with and accommodate First Nations along the pipeline route about potential impacts to their Aboriginal rights and title.
‘This is a huge victory that affirms the provincial government’s duty to consult with and accommodate First Nations and to exercise its decision-making power on major pipeline projects,’ said Arnold Clifton, Chief Councillor of the Gitga’at First Nation.
‘This ruling is an important victory for our communities and presents another hurdle to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline,’ said Chief Marilyn Slett, President of the Coastal First Nations. ‘It means the province must now sit down with First Nation communities across BC and find ways to address the severe and irreversible impacts of this project.’
The constitutional challenge was brought by the Gitga’at First Nation and the Coastal First Nations, and was argued by Joseph Arvay, Q.C., (and his colleagues Catherine Boies Parker and Tim Dickson at Farris LLP ) one of Canada’s pre-eminent constitutional lawyers and an expert in Aboriginal and administrative law.
‘The province has been talking a lot about its opposition to oil pipelines in recent days,’ said Art Sterritt, a member of the Gitga’at First Nation. ‘Now it must put its money where its mouth is and apply the same rigorous standards it advocated for during the Joint Review Panel process, while consulting with every single First Nation who would be affected by this project. We’ve said it before: The Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline is dead.’
The ruling means that, until the province makes a decision on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and issues an Environmental Assessment Certificate, none of the approximately 60 permits, licenses and authorizations necessary for the project to proceed can be issued.”
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