Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Treaty One First Nations Look To Halt Keystone Pipeline Project

First Nations look to halt pipeline project
Chiefs want Ottawa to consult with them over project
Tue, September 2, 2008

A potentially historic court hearing that may ultimately cause pipeline construction in Manitoba to be delayed and could possibly see local First Nations get a piece of oil revenues began in Winnipeg today.

The Treaty 1 First Nations — representing seven southern Manitoba bands — are asking the federal court to overturn the government's decision to approve construction of the TransCanada Keystone pipeline. The line would pump more than half a million barrels of oil per day from Alberta through Saskatchewan and Manitoba and ultimately into Illinois and Oklahoma.

The chiefs contend Ottawa had a duty to consult with them about the project, but did not.

The chiefs are seeking a reversal of the project's approval, or at least a denial of any further permits, until such time as they are consulted properly. The chiefs would also like the court to order the government into consultations.

Justice Robert Barnes will decide whether Ottawa neglected its duty to consult. If he rules in favour of the chiefs, it is uncertain what other remedies, if any, he may impose with respect to construction injunctions or other solutions beyond ordering or encouraging consultation.


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