Federal court decision on Enbridge is welcome news for First Nations and British Columbians, says Cullen

VANCOUVER – Skeena—Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen says the Federal Court of Appeal's decision to tear up permits for Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline is the right one - and one that northerners have known for a long time.

"People across the Northwest were insulted by the federal government's cold indifference toward our communities, our land and water, and our way of life," said Cullen. "We watched our own government ignored science, ignored our concerns, and even called us radicals and enemies of the state for raising legitimate and important questions about this project.

“This decision is welcome news for First Nations, northerners and British Columbians as a whole, who know that the federal government did more insulting than consulting on Northern Gateway."

Today, the Federal Court of Appeal released its decision that the Crown's consultation of Aboriginal peoples "fell well short of the mark", and quashed the existing federal permits for the Northern Gateway project, returning them to the federal government.

The ball is now squarely in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s court. Barring an unlikely appeal of the ruling by Mr. Trudeau, his cabinet will now be charged with conducting additional consultations with First Nations and issuing a decision on the project. The federal court ruling calls for a “prompt redetermination”.

“Meaningful consultation means the government must seriously listen, and First Nations have been consistent and clear from the start,” said Cullen. “Today’s ruling also raises questions about the Liberal government’s decision to rely on the same broken review process designed by Stephen Harper for other pipeline projects like Kinder Morgan. The government must act now to introduce real reforms to restore public faith and respect for the rights of First Nations and communities in the regulatory process.”

The full reasons of the court's ruling can be located here.