Skeena standoff hurting Northwest economy and communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JULY 25, 2014
SMITHERS -
Opposition Finance Critic Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) continues to call for calm as tensions rise in the wake of contentious “eviction notices” for the Skeena River and all claimed Gitxsan traditional territories.

“More and more, this situation has the potential to lead to overt conflict and cause incredible costs to our Northwest economy and communities,” Cullen said this morning.

“Overlap issues fall within provincial jurisdiction and BC must take a leadership role in settling the current dispute or a bad situation is going to get much worse.

“The looming threat of shutting down large portions of the sport fishery and industrial operations is already hurting business and community relations and cannot continue,” Cullen said.

Cullen has been speaking with senior provincial leaders since the Gitxsan Treaty Society’s July 10 demand for a halt to all sportsfishing on the Skeena River and forest and CN Rail operations on claimed Gitxsan territories by August 4.

Cullen is also working with federal ministries, today speaking with the deputy minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, and meeting with First Nations and civic leaders, tourism operators, and industry to help broker a solution to the Skeena standoff.

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Contact: Shelley Browne, nathan.cullen.c1@parl.gc.ca; 250-877-4140