Saturday, September 29, 2012

Be sure your sins will find you out.

Furlong denies allegations of abuse.
Former CEO of Vancouver’s Olympic committee says he has asked police to probe claims.

So read the headline published in the GLOBE AND MAIL dated, September 28, 2012.

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.” Numbers 32:23.

One must assume the Bible was never too far from John Furlong as a former missionary at a school at Burns Lake, BC from 1969 to the early 1970’s.  There and then, Furlong worked as a gym teacher where he once led First Nations students in physical activities.

In the beginning, like the earth, that period of time too was “without form and void” for Furlong never did mention it in his book entitled, “Patriot Hearts.”

I wonder why?

Others like “Lake Babine First Nation chief Wilf Adam said he planned to issue a formal statement on Friday (yesterday) in support of band members who say Mr. Furlong abused them.”

“The issue here was the book and its failure to mention Burns Lake,” Mr. Adam said. “He (Mr. Furlong) has to be truthful and honest about what happened.”

So, what did happen?

It’s no secret now the number of physical and sexual abuses that did occur to former Aboriginal students and now considered as Survivors of all the church-run residential schools across Canada. The government through Prime Minister Stephen Harper finally apologized in 2008 to all Aboriginal people and followed through with compensation packages. It was clear then with the numbers of abuse allegations and an RCMP investigation full of evidence that prompted Harper to do the right thing. In most of those Survivor cases, it took 30 – 40 years to break the silence.

Even for Furlong, time does not stand still. And thanks to the reporter, Laura Robinson, his time spent 40 years ago in a small town in BC is certainly not without form and void.

Memories of Furlong by his former First Nations students and an RCMP investigation will certainly fill in that time…a time he says was of insignificance.

It’s ironic the Bible verse noted above is found in the book of Numbers. While there are allegations against Furlong, the RCMP must not and should not deny the numbers and make the time of 1969 to the early 1970’s of significance to those affected First Nations members.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Elders forethought, Atleo's afterthought.

“We must be partners, not an afterthought.”

So read the headline published in the GLOBE AND MAIL, dated August 22, 2012 and written by Shawn Atleo.

I see Shawn Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), is again trying to assert some leadership. After all, even with signed Treaties across the country, he is a leader of arguably the most uncertain of the three defined aboriginal groups and arguably too, the most contentious when it comes to the issue of resource development. After all too, we don’t hear much from Metis and Inuit groups regarding resource development.

I wonder why?

Atleo, to his credit, says, “The federal government must work with First Nations to move away from the Indian Act, to honour and give life to inherent rights, title, and treaties.”

Is the Indian Act to blame for the current state of affairs with First Nations and resource development or are First Nations ancestors to blame?

We, Inuvialuit, of the Western Arctic were a part of the northern group who were to sign and be a signatory to Treaty 11. Back in the day, our elders felt it not advantageous for us as a people and therefore, rejected the terms of the conditions of Treaty 11. Good for them.

Fast forward to Atleo’s comments today, “We must be full participants in new sustainable and responsible economic opportunity. This is a path forward to prosperity, now and into the future.”


One of our goals of the 1984 Inuvialuit Final Agreement of the Western Arctic is, “to enable Inuvialuit to be equal and meaningful participants in the northern and national economy and society…”

Thanks to our Elders patient foresight in rejecting signing Treaty 11, the government was a binding signatory to our comprehensive land claim agreement. Now, resource development companies and the government have no issue engaging Inuvialuit early and engaging Inuvialuit often in any proposed resource development. And, we don’t make the news on a daily basis as Inuvialuit are meaningful participants in the northern and national economy. And, never an afterthought.

Perhaps, Atleo should be looking back to his ancestors to address the path to prosperity, now and into the future.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Pipelines...a right-of-way that is not the right way?

As you know, the Enbridge Gateway and Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline proposals across British Columbia have been in the news for a while and will not go away for some time into the distant future.

Headlines include,       “Pipeline: Weighing the risks against the rewards,”
                                    “In case of accident,”
                                    “Living with the line,”
                                    “Beyond the protests, pipelines are a solid investment,”
                                    “Deadline imposed on Gateway review,”
                                    “Kinder Morgan’s $4.1 billion plan to push oil through southern B.C.,”
                                    “Pipeline feud in spotlight as oil-sands prospects dim,”
                                    “First Nations miffed with pipeline regulatory process,”

                                    …just to name a few.

Perhaps, with all the controversy, those companies need to think outside the box (or pipe)?

Enter the Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP), an already completed process with much Aboriginal support with the various land claims settled and a permit to build thanks to the National Energy Board (NEB).

Perhaps too, with all the controversy of the aforementioned pipeline proposals, those two companies especially Enbridge should think of “a northward course of empire.” As you may know too, the MGP is to one-day transport natural gas from the Mackenzie Delta in Canada’s western arctic to markets south to the oil sands of Alberta. Imperial Oil Limited is the lead proponent on the MGP which is to use a pipeline eventually built by TransCanada Pipelines (TPL).

Unfortunately, due to low gas prices, the MGP is on hold long-term with a right-of-way that might be the right way?

If Enbridge or even Kinder Morgan is looking for a proven less-controversial route to transport oil, why not pipe oil north down the Mackenzie river on to the Beaufort Sea, and gain the real gateway to the Orient? After all, the Aboriginal groups there are ready and willing along with the Government of the Northwest Territories looking to spark economic development. Furthermore, the natural gas of the Mackenzie Delta can then be used to fuel the project. Once oil hits the Arctic, it can be transported over to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. There, oil can then be transported via the Alaska Pipeline System, a long-standing operational pipeline that transports oil down to Valdez. And then to?...where else, the Orient where China is waiting.

The Gateway and TransMountain pipelines are controversial with no guarantees from the British Columbia government and the First Nations have threatened to “go to the wall” to defend and protect their aboriginal rights to the point of stalling the projects with a long-lasting court process.

The MGP route is a round about way but the idea is something Enbridge and Kinder Morgan should consider even if it will cost time and more money. After all, it’s likely time for the companies to think outside the box as their respective right-of-way may not be the right way.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

To Treaty or not to Treaty?

“Business warned to respect treaty rights.
Newly re-elected assembly chief says he wont’ rule out delaying projects like Northern Gateway pipeline if conversation lags.”

So read the headline published in the GLOBE AND MAIL dated July 20, 2012 and written by a Tamara Baluia.

Seems the re-elected Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Chief; Shawn Atleo is already flexing his muscles regarding treaty rights. But is he barking up the wrong tree? Especially, when he has been accused by a number of chiefs of being too cozy with the government during his first term.

Still, he has warned business and, “he didn’t rule out delaying key projects like the (Enbridge) Northern Gateway pipeline.”

With his focus on businesses and resource development and the need to respect treaty rights, perhaps he may be still too cozy with the government? After all, based on experience and the last I heard and according to the courts, it is the Crown that has the duty to consult and to respect aboriginal and Treaty rights, which are recognized and affirmed in the Constitution Act, Section 35.

So, where is the Crown?

The very target Atleo is after is also wondering. “Canadian business leaders, in a report by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives released ahead of the AFN’s assembly, called for politicians to bring aboriginal communities more fully on board in energy development. From a corporate perspective, being “on board” though is not about treaty rights.

Tell that to a Daniel Veniez, an entrepreneur who has worked for first nations in northern BC and a former Liberal Party candidate. He has said, “ in order to unlock the full economic potential, first nations and Ottawa will have to clear the underbrush first…the fundamental issue of treaty rights,” he said. “ I don’ think you’ll see any real movement until this is sorted out first.”

So, where is the Crown?

“Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan said the government will work with communities to “create the conditions for Canada’s first nations to achieve the prosperity they see, benefiting not just them but all Canadians. Building on the progress we have made together will require us to have the courage to embrace change…and ask tough questions.”

As we all know and unlike Aboriginal rights, Treaty rights are spelled out clearly within all the respective treaties. Treaty rights are not such a tough question…tell that to Atleo. Perhaps,  he's still too cozy?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Northward course of Empire?

“Inuit leader asserts stake in natural riches.
Newly elected Terry Audla promises to ensure northern communities share in wealth generated off extraction of Arctic resources.”

So read the headline published in the GLOBE AND MAIL dated June 09, 2012 and written by a Gloria Galloway.

Firstly, congratulations to Terry Audla who is now the new leader of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the political organization that oversees all issues pertaining to Canada’s Inuit people. Secondly, like some First Nations leaders, he seems to get it when addressing the plight of his own people. In two words; economic development. After all, the natural riches of the Arctic were regarded very early in the 1900’s.

Enter the book, “A Northward course of Empire,” written by the early 20th century Canadian Arctic explorer, Vilhjalmur Stephansson. The book describes the potential for economic development of Arctic regions. Now, over a century later, an Inuit leader finally gets it.

“There are capped wells in the high arctic and there are oil and gas reserves in the high arctic as well, “ Mr. Audla said this week in a telephone interview on the day after his victory.”

“And the Inuit will definitely be involved in the development of that when the decision is made to do so.”

So, what took so long?

“Mr. Audla said the roots of the ITK go back to a time when the Inuit watched the riches of their land being harvested without them. That cannot happen going forward, he said, especially now that the land claims have been settled.”

In the past, the Inuit were once rich in language and culture only to be disrupted by the establishment of Canada and then having to ironically “re-claim” the land that has always identified their existence. So, what about the future?

“…it is the resources that he believes hold the promise for the future of his people.”

“The Inuit own 50 million hectares of land, which is about the size of Spain, The Nunavut land claim agreement has set the stage for the Inuit to regain the control they once had. This time moving forward into the 21st century, not with spears, igloos,  aglus, umiaks, kayaks or seal skin clothing but with a big difference…money through economic development.

“Mr. Audla said. If you have that much land and control, there’s no reason why you can’t have the economic development based on what you want to do and how you want to do it. If you can control that, it certainly would go towards improving the lives of the Inuit.”

Finally, the new leader of the ITK has realized a northward course of empire. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pipeline rules?

New rules may hinder Enbridge pipeline: ex-exec.

So read the headline published in the NATIONAL POST dated April 27, 2012 and written by a Jeffrey Jones.

When it comes to problems, the government seems to “think,” it has the solutions.

Over a century ago, Duncan Campbell Scott, former Minister of Indian Affairs in the MacDonald government once uttered, “We have an Indian problem.”

The solution to that problem was?...Indian Residential schools.  That system and disrespect towards Aboriginal people finally led to an apology by Prime Minister Harper in 2008 with financial compensation to all former Survivors who had attended those schools.

Today, the solution to major oil and gas projects? rules.

“They’re trying to solve the Enbridge challenges with a regulatory change, and I don’t think that’s appropriate. If you want to fix things, then sit down and think about it,” says Roger Harris, former vice president of aboriginal and community partnerships for Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines in 2008 and 2009 and, now a respected consultant.

Currently, the National Energy Board (NEB) oversees major projects like the proposed Gateway pipeline with its regulatory process, a process that includes addressing environmental, social-economic, economic, engineering, stakeholder, and aboriginal issues. And, in due process with no real time-line. Seems, the Harper government is discontent and therefore, wants new rules.

“Among the revamps, the number of federal departments and agencies that participate in reviews will be chopped to three from more than 40, provinces will be able to conduct reviews if they meet federal standards, and review proceedings for major developments such as Northern Gateway will be limited to 24 months.”

And, get this. The new rules are even retroactive to include the proposed
Gateway pipeline and Harper’s government can push aside and take over the role of the NEB if and when they want the final say.

What does Mr. Harris think?

“…when a time limit is enforced, or even the Cabinet makes a decision to move ahead on a project, it creates the perfect landscape for legal action, and it’s going to have project proponents in courts forever.”

“Many First Nations say they fear construction and operation of the pipeline will threaten traditional ways of life and leave their territories and coastal waters at risk of oil spills. Some have said court actions are a certainty if it is approved.”

As mentioned on a previous blog post, perhaps this proposed Enbridge pipeline will lead the lawyers to the only bridge constructed….the bridge to retirement.  Perhaps, the government will have to consider another solution…even more rules?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

No “natural” gas? How 'bout some whale oil.

“In one Arctic town, all’s not well.
Nothing left in the tank.

Without a solution, the town won’t survive.”

So read the headlines published in the National Post dated, April 16, 2012 and written by a Jason Unrau.

As scarce as whale oil is these days to the culture of the Inuvialuit  (Inuit) of the western arctic, they’re sitting on trilliums of cubic feet of natural gas but that gas might as well be like the bowhead whale…scarce.

The Arctic town referred to above is Inuvik, long held as the administrative centre of Canada’s Western Arctic and home to the indigenous people known as the Inuvialuit. For over a century, the Inuvialuit have adapted to change to become of significance with the oil and gas industry today, thanks a lot to their 1984 land claim agreement where economic opportunities were outlined as key to survival in today’s society.

“Without a solution, the town won’t survive,” says Joe Lavoie, a 30-year resident of Inuvik and owner of the town’s Home Hardware.

Like Joe, the Inuvialuit too are looking for a solution to survive the natural gas crisis. A crisis that was quite unforeseen; after all, for over 40 years, oil and gas companies have explored and discovered huge natural gas fields with the intention of one day shipping and selling that gas via a pipeline to southern markets.

Intention though, has turned to despair and hope.

“In March, 2010, the National Energy Board gave the Mackenzie pipeline a green light, but last week, the pipeline consortium of Exxon Mobil, Shell and ConocoPhillips decided to shelve the project.”

While these large companies have lots left in the tank with their respective gas fields, it could be the little guy to the town’s rescue…MGM Energy Corp?

“Henry Sykes, president of MGM Energy Corp., a small Canadian firm with gas holdings near Inuvik, could be the town’s white knight. Like many smaller players on the periphery of the great Mackenzie pipeline game, Mr. Sykes was counting on the (pipeline) project to get his product to market.”

Like Mr. Sykes, the Inuvialuit too counted on the pipeline and did assume its construction when it developed its own Ikhil gas field and since 1999, has supplied the town with gas through its own pipeline business. Again, with the assumption the Mackenzie gas pipeline will be built.

One big problem…low gas prices and a gluten of supply with less demand.

Sounds like Inuvik and the Inuvialuit will have to adapt…again.

How ‘bout a Gas to Liquids Refinery (GTL)?

“I suppose if somebody was doing that (building a GTL refinery in Inuvik), the more customers the better and we’d be happy to supply,” said Mr. Sykes. Furthermore, “We’re not in the business of shipping gas, we’re in the business of selling gas.”

I guess the Bowhead whale may be safe after all.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mining companies band against Bands.

Junior miners revolt over native deals.
Small resource companies band together in the wake of court clashes with aboriginals over development on Crown land.

So read the headline published in the GLOBE AND MAIL dated March 28, 2012 and written by a Jeff Gray.

As courts have declared, the Crown has the duty to consult when it comes to land and resource development.  However, I often wondered…where is the Crown? Junior mining companies in northern Ontario, I hope, are wondering the same.

“Confrontations between native bands and mining companies, particularly in Northern Ontario, have been increasing.” As the headline reads, this time it is with some junior mining companies.

Enter a Darryl Stretch, “whose Solid Gold Resources Inc. was hit in January with a rare court injunction suspending drilling on claims near Lake Abitibi in Northern Ontario.”

“Mr. Stretch said the Wahgoshig wanted him to pay for a $100,000 archeological study to determine if drill sites were disturbing burial grounds. He refused, saying, Solid Gold could not afford it. He says his firm has no legal requirement to consult the band, “It’s not my obligation to go find arrowheads for those people, period,” he said in a phone interview.”


“What’s being asked of them has nothing to do with consultation.  It has everything to do with compensation, “ says Neal Smitherman, a lawyer who acts for junior miners in disputes with native groups.

As most may agree, lost arrowheads are of the past and has nothing to do with “consultation” on aboriginal and/or treaty rights which is supposed to be of a forward-looking process; i.e. will the affected first nation still be able to hunt, fish, trap, pick berries, etc. if and when there is a proposed development in an area regarded as traditional territory?

Still, finding arrowheads in traditional land use studies have become big business as first nations across Canada now look to the past and big companies have bought into that idea in order to come to some sort of resolution with first nations which then has resulted in great expectations. According to Mr. Stretch, a $100,000 dollar expectation.

According to the courts, Mr. Stretch and his company do play a part in the consultation process. A process that is supposed to look to the future regarding respect for rights.

However, arrowheads of the past have become of great value. Tell that to Mr. Stretch.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Aboriginal Whisperer?

“Judges ordered to consider cultural factors in sentencing native offenders.”

So read the headline published in the GLOBE AND MAIL, dated March 24, 2012 and written by a Kirk Makin.

Those of you who watch “The Dog Whisperer” on TV will know the star of the show, Cesar Milan and his slogan, “I train people and I rehabilitate dogs.” His show is a huge success; thanks to his techniques used. One can see how fast Cesar can change a dog’s unbalanced behaviour; in fact, within minutes. He has said that dogs are able to not dwell on the past but move forward very quickly.  Simple-minded? Apparently, not so with humans.

Consider the past treatment of Canada’s native offenders who, as a result, may be living too much in the past.

“When sentencing an aboriginal offender, courts must take judicial notice of such matters as the history of colonialism, displacement, and residential schools and how that history continues to translate into lower educational attainment, lower incomes, higher unemployment, higher rates of substance abuse and suicide, and of course, higher levels of incarceration for aboriginal peoples” says Judge LeBel when he had referred to the application of the Gladue report.

In a 1998 court decision, Regina v. Gladue, that case mandated distinctive treatment for aboriginal offenders based on sensitivity to their history, i.e. the oppressive cultural conditions many have grown up with.

The above noted article also referred to the sentencing of two aboriginal offenders who have had alcohol problems, a history of thefts, sexual assaults, and residential school experience full of physical, sexual, emotional, and spiritual abuse.

The issue of colonialism and assimilation of Canada’s Aboriginal people has gained more exposure lately; first with Prime Minister Harper's 2008 apology for the past abuses of the residential school system and now, with the process of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Furthermore, Canada has recognized the need  to address the past experiences by Survivors of residential schools with the Independent Assessment Process where individuals can link current behaviour with their abusive past  and ultimately be compensated.

Fortunately, the court system is willing to look to the past and start to understand the reasons for the high rates of incarceration of Aboriginal people.

Ultimately, in the spirit of healing, one would like a mind of a dog. Too simple.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

No bridge for Enbridge?

“B.C. Dene vow to halt Northern Gateway pipeline.”

So read the headline in the GLOBE AND MAIL published March 14, 2012 and written by a Shawn McCarthy.

With Harper at the helm and with current regulations, the Dene will be hard pressed to halt the proposed pipeline. Nevertheless, “Chief Jackie Thomas of the Saik’uz First Nations, was part of a delegation in Ottawa Tuesday meeting with opposition members of Parliament to build support for their anti-pipeline stand.”
She reiterated, “Enbridge will never be allowed on our lands.”

Tell that to Harper.

He had recently said, “…that new pipelines to the West Coast are in the national interest.” The National Energy Board must comply and therefore, will certainly approve the project.

The stage is set.

Dwight Nelson, an Ottawa-based consultant and lecturer at Carleton University predicts, “We’re going to see a huge outcry about indigenous human rights” if the pipeline proceeds, “you’re going to see blockades and other militant action, and you’ll definitely see lawyers in massive mobilization.”

Seems the only concrete bridge will be created by the lawyers themselves, transporting them into retirement.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Truth?...Is Sinclair sincere?

Residential schools “an act of genocide”
Chairman of truth and reconciliation commission says Canada’s treatment of aboriginal children meets the United Nations definition.

So read the headline published in the GLOBE AND MAIL dated February 18, 2012 and written by a Chinta Puxley.

Bold headline but one that is finally said by one of significance, this time by the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  “Justice Murray Sinclair says the United Nations defines genocide to include the removal of children based on race, then placing them with another race to indoctrinate them.”

Over the years, Canada has been very careful to not expose that truth. Even with its funding agreement with the Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF), Canada ensured AHF Board members were not to engage in any advocacy regarding its past treatment of aboriginal children. However, it would be hard pressed for Canada to quell the truth when it established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Still, even with the UN’s definition of genocide, “…the minister of Indian affairs can say this was not an act of genocide.”

With Canada’s denial of the truth, Canadians especially Survivors of the residential school system would be hard pressed to come to some sort of reconciliation. Admittance could go a long way. Perhaps, Canada should take on Jesus’ ethic, “The truth will set you free.”

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Reservations brighter future?

“PM’s economic message divides the generations.”

So read the headline published in the GLOBE AND MAIL dated January 25, 2012 and written by a Bill Curry and Gloria Galloway.

“Houston, we have a problem.” Apollo 13 Astronaut Commander, James Lovell, uttered those now famous words while on a lunar mission in 1970. We all know “that problem” was solved after Lovell and his comrades returned to earth safely.

Still, long before then, the Canadian government figured they too had a problem. In fact, what the late Dr. Duncan Campbell Scott, then head of the Department of Indian Affairs, uttered in 1920 was the infamous statement, “I want to get rid of the Indian problem.”

Seems though, after all that time; there still is a problem.  The context of Dr. Scott’s infamous statement was the need to address Canada’s Indigenous occupancy of land across the country. Thus, the establishment of and the failed residential school system as Canada’s Aboriginal people refused the idea of a homogeneous society.  So, what is today’s problem?...and solution?

PM Harper did host a First Nations Summit on January 24, 2012 to perhaps address the problem… the dismal state of first nations affairs and situation across the country and tenuous relationship with Canada.

“Agenda focused on practical improvement sits well with new generation of leaders, but old guard stands firm on land rights. PM sees jobs as key to first nations future.”

Post 1920, division still outlines the relationship with the government and is clear amongst First Nations too.

Until the Indian Act is abolished, one must respect the Treaties with different First Nations and their approach to be treated separately unlike the finality of land claim agreements where communities work together to move forward with certainty on issues such as land rights, harvesting, economy, education, health care and ultimately some financial compensation. Treaties are subjected to interpretation and result in on-going issues of housing, land rights, education, and never ending annual allocation of money…and, some say, unaccountability.

Still, the PM refuses to scrap the Indian Act and instead, “Stephen Harper is pushing ahead with an agenda focused on practical steps to boost the economies of Canada’s reserves, pointing to a promising new generation of native leaders and entrepreneurs as examples of a brighter future.”

Astronaut Commander, James Lovell, did figure out the explosion of two oxygen tanks as the cause of their problem and found steps to address that cause. Stephen Harper and the first nations will need to figure out the cause of the current state of native reserves and their tenuous relationship with each other. I think that is the first “practical step.” Until then, generations will continue to be divided with no brighter future.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pipeline rules or Aboriginal rules?

“Oil-sands pipeline hits its highest hurdle
Ottawa warns of foreign-financed “radicals” but opposition is led by a business-minded first nation.”

So read the headline published in the GLOBE AND MAIL dated, January 9, 2012 and written by a David Ebner.

“Public vetting of Enbridge’s proposed $6.6-billion Northern Gateway oil-sands pipeline begins Tuesday (Today, January 10, 2012).”

Someone has said, “The mother of all hearings starts today.”

So, is the Gateway pipeline approval a forgone conclusion? Yes, based on the National Energy Board  (NEB) and its history of approving projects, Some say it's a done deal. After all, the NEB’s motto is “In the National Interest.” But, the process, like most projects, will not be without any hurdles. Already, the government is weighing in and some say, are trying to meddle in the process.

Picture from the GLOBE AND MAIL
 “The Conservative government will bring forward new rules to greatly shorten environmental reviews of pipelines and other major projects, arguing that “radical groups” are exploiting the reviews to block proposals vital to Canada’s economic future.” So, what “new rules?” For one, a Timeline.

Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources has said, “…a definite timeline would provide certainty to the participants who are sponsoring the project.” Seems, from the government perspective, some say , if a company applies to build a pipeline, that company will “certainly” be approved.

Introducing new rules though does not omit the “highest hurdle”…Aboriginal opposition?

The arguments concerning native land rights and environmental impact promise a regulatory fight that could travel all the way to the Supreme Court. “The struggle to transport the harvest of Alberta’s vast oil sands enters a new arena this week – a village on the rugged British Columbia coast where the hopes of Canada’s biggest pipeline operator will meet a business-savvy first nation with little appetite for black gold.”

Enter the Haisla First Nation. They are doing business as well as any oil company. Still, regarding the construction of the proposed pipeline, Ellis Ross, Haisla chief councillor has said, “We don’t think that’s in the National Interest.”

The Hearings start today and is hosted by the Haisla First Nation. For the NEB, why not start at the highest hurdle…but it doesn’t mean it’s downhill from there.