NDP Reconciliation Critic, Romeo Saganash tabled a motion on Monday to have MPs vote to reaffirm their support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in light of the Liberals’ decision to purchase the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project with taxpayer money. UNDRIP includes the right to “free, prior and informed consent” prior to any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, including the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion the Liberals have promised to build.
“Human rights instruments like the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples forge proper relationships and partnerships between governments and Indigenous Peoples,” Saganash said. “You cannot respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and, at the same time, force through a pipeline that many First Nations oppose.”
The motion asks all Members of Parliament to acknowledge that this means respecting the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs’ position that “no means no,” and that Trudeau’s pipeline does not have the consent it needs to be built, as required by the UN Declaration.
“Quite simply, the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project does not have the support of all impacted First Nations and so it cannot proceed.  We’re not talking about a veto, we’re talking about the need for Canada to ‘walk the walk’ with respect to recognizing and implementing Indigenous rights,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. “We applaud the government of Canada for finally passing legislation to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; however, we remind Mr. Trudeau that he cannot cherry pick articles to suit his fancy- the UN Declaration must be implemented in its entirety including the right to free, prior and informed consent.”