Chiefs vote to overturn deal with Enbridge

A B.C. First Nation group has reversed its support for the Enbridge (TSX:ENB) Northern Gateway pipeline project, but the company says it still has the support of almost half the bands along the corridor.

TERRACE, B.C. — A B.C. First Nation group has reversed its support for the Enbridge (TSX:ENB) Northern Gateway pipeline project, but the company says it still has the support of almost half the bands along the corridor.

Gitxsan Treaty Society negotiator Elmer Derrik signed the agreement last month, but 36 Gitxsan hereditary chiefs voted to officially reject it during a meeting Tuesday.

The agreement Derrick struck would have given the First Nation a $7 million equity stake in the project, but it set off a storm of protest among other Gitxsan members who then staged a blockade of the Treaty Society office in Hazelton.

Gitxsan spokesman John Olson said the chiefs may be prepared to lift their blockade, but that would be decided later.

The chiefs also said they want written acknowledgment from the Gitxsan Treaty Society that the Enbridge deal is rejected before removing the protest.

Paul Stanway, a spokesman for Enbridge on the Northern Gateway pipeline project, said the company is disappointed in the shift, but that Enbridge hasn’t given up on reaching a deal with the Gitxsan.

“We understand the concerns that have been raised and our goal here is to reach a long-lasting agreement with the Gitxsan so they can be equity partners in the ownership of Northern Gateway.”

Enbridge representatives were allowed to attend Tuesday’s meeting, he said.

“The feeling was they wanted to take a fresh look at this deal and we respect that.”

Larry Patsey, a hereditary chief, said he didn’t attend the meeting because he doesn’t recognize the treaty society.

“As far as we’re concerned all that business is null and void,” he said. “Certainly, we’re happy to hear that the chiefs that were there spoke against Enbridge and the deal was nullified.”

Patsey said 48 hereditary chiefs signed a Dec. 5 declaration against Enbridge and the treaty society because they felt the society wasn’t representing them and they felt left out of the process.

The Gitxsan have 65 houses, he added, each of which is represented by a hereditary chief. He said each of the houses must be consulted.

“Hereditary chiefs are always open to economic development endeavours in our territory, but we have to be consulted and accommodated in all these aspects of negotiations,” he said.

Stanway said Enbridge has managed to get the support of 20 aboriginal groups among the 45 within 80 kilometres of the pipeline corridor in recent weeks. They have signed equity agreements with the company.

“We’re confident that’s good momentum from our point of view. The deal is open until the end of May 2012.”

Stanway wouldn’t name the First Nations who have signed deals.

Just Posted

Spring book sale this weekend in Red Deer

Red Deerians can get lost in a world of inexpensive books this… Continue reading

Central Alberta wildlife rehab facility not prepared to take orphaned bear cubs, yet

It’s been about eight years since the Medicine River Wildlife Centre was… Continue reading

Regional sewage line moving ahead despite concerns

Cost sharing among concerns of municipalities involved in Sylvan Lake-to-Red Deer sewage line

Red Deer family who lost everything in house fire begin rebuilding

Couple had moved into north-end home only two days before basement fire

Tory Leader Andrew Scheer says he doesn’t feel betrayed by Maxime Bernier

MONTREAL — Andrew Scheer says he doesn’t feel betrayed by former Tory… Continue reading

WATCH: Fine wine and food at Red Deer College

The Red Deer College Alumni Association hosted its 14th annual Fine Wine… Continue reading

Boston’s Tuukka Rask, Riley Nash step up in Game 4 win over Leafs

Bruins 3 Maple Leafs 1 TORONTO — The Boston Bruins didn’t need… Continue reading

Supreme Court ruling corks B.C. vintners’ hopes for free trade of Canadian wines

VANCOUVER — The Supreme Court of Canada ruling upholding interprovincial trade laws… Continue reading

Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with U.S. government

Disgraced cyclist reached $5-million settlement with sponsor U.S. Postal Service

Montreal couple hoping city lets them keep beloved pet pig named Babe

MONTREAL — Babe the pig spends his days sleeping, going for walks… Continue reading

WATCH: This is a story about a stoned raccoon at a fire station

An unusual pair showed up in the pre-dawn hours at Fire Station… Continue reading

Plastic makers’ credit ratings may be hit by pollution rules

Plastic packaging makers may be less credit-worthy in the future as governments… Continue reading

Black Press Media acquires two new Alaska newspapers

New Media Investment Group to acquire the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal while Black Press Media takes on daily newspapers in Juneau and Kenai Alaska

‘Dining of the future’: vegan restaurant boom fuelled by meat eaters

Foodies say Canada is in the midst of a renaissance in plant-based… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month