FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Government rescinds Order in Council after angering BC First Nations
Victoria, BC - The BC Green Party welcomes the Minister of Environment Mary Polak’s move to rescind Order in Council #185.
The Order would have removed regulations requiring automatic environmental assessments for natural gas developments, ski resorts and year round resorts. The decision was made in Council without any consultation with British Columbians including First Nations.
As a result of the Order, BC Government and industry officials attending a First Nations Shale Gas/LNG Summit hosted by Fort Nelson First Nation were asked to leave the conference.
In a Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) press release, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip said "In a stunningly stupid move, the Province has effectively declared war on all BC First Nations and jeopardized all LNG discussions throughout the entire Province of BC."
Shortly afterward Chief Bob Chamberlain, Vice-President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, tweeted that the conference received a phone call from Minister Rich Coleman in which he apologized for the Order.
In a press release Government apologized for “failing to discuss the amendment with First Nations prior to its approval.”
“Unfortunately, the BC Liberals continue to make decisions without properly consulting British Columbians and Order in Council #185 was only rescinded after insulting First Nations,” said Adam Olsen, Interim-Leader of the BC Green Party.
“The government is burning through political capital in their relations with First Nations and everyone else in BC at an alarming rate,” said Olsen. “Thankfully they swiftly made the right decision to rescind the Order but the governments apology for failing to discuss is not even close to the kind of engagement, consultation and relationship building that is needed.”