Federal delay on reform led to $3B lawsuit: aboriginal leaders

Aboriginal leaders say federal foot-dragging on reform of an agency that looks after oil and gas on reserve lands is at least partly behind a $3-billion lawsuit filed against Ottawa this week.

Aboriginal leaders say federal foot-dragging on reform of an agency that looks after oil and gas on reserve lands is at least partly behind a $3-billion lawsuit filed against Ottawa this week.

Legislation to modernize Indian Oil and Gas Canada passed in 2009 but hasn’t come into effect.

Rules to bring the regulatory agency up to date are still being negotiated nearly seven years later.

Stephen Buffalo of the Indian Resource Council says the draft rules would answer many of the concerns in the lawsuit filed by two bands from Alberta and Saskatchewan.

He blames the previous Conservative government for a go-slow approach.

He says that has added to the frustrations that led to Monday’s lawsuit, which other bands are likely to join.