Alberta fires back at UN committee for criticism of energy megaprojects

UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has urged Canada to stop work on three major resource projects

Alberta fires back at UN committee for criticism of energy megaprojects

Alberta’s energy minister says the United Nations is an unelected, unaccountable body that has no business criticizing Canada’s energy megaprojects.

Sonya Savage, in a statement, says that it’s the job of elected leaders, not the UN, to make decisions on how best to govern people and economies.

The UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has urged Canada to stop work on three major resource projects — including the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion — until it obtains approval from affected First Nations.

The committee, in a directive last month, says it’s worried that work is going ahead without free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous groups.

Savage says the committee is ignoring the majority of First Nations groups that support projects such as Trans Mountain and the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline.

She says the criticism is unfair and out of context, given Canada’s track record on making sure all voices are heard.

“With all the injustice in the world, it’s beyond rich that the unelected, unaccountable United Nations would seemingly single out Canada — one of the greatest champions of human rights, democracy and the rule of law,” Savage said Tuesday.

“Canada’s duly elected representatives — not unaccountable international committees — are responsible for governing decisions in this country.”

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers also said in a statement Tuesday that the committee’s directive shows an ”ignorance of Canadian law and consultation processes.”

CAPP said the three projects cited by the committee — TransMountain, Site C and Coastal GasLink — underwent extensive consulation and review in accordance with Canadian laws.

Trans Mountain Corp., the federal Crown corporation building the pipeline expansion from Alberta to the British Columbia coast, says it is moving forward with construction safely and in respect of communities.

BC Hydro says it has been consulting with affected First Nations on the Site C hydroelectric dam since 2007 and has reached benefit agreements with most of them.

The UN committee previously demanded a halt to Site C, which is opposed by the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations in northeastern British Columbia.

However, this marks the first time it has called for a stop to the Trans Mountain and Coastal GasLink projects.

Members of the Wet’suwet’en have tried to block construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline near Smithers, B.C. The natural gas pipeline is part of a $40-billion LNG Canada project.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday 12, 2020.

1913 Days returns this weekend, though it will look different than in years past. This year, in keeping with COVID-19 restrictions, there will not be a parade or some other favourite events. (File Photo)
Softer version of 1913 Days returns to Sylvan Lake this weekend

1913 Days is returning with a different look as the community begins to comes out of the pandemic

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Most Read