Alarm: Deh Cho to drop Mackenzie Valley pipeline lawsuits
Deh Cho to drop Mackenzie Valley pipeline lawsuits
Last updated Jul 11 2005 02:55 PM MDT
The Deh Cho First Nation has agreed to drop lawsuits that stand in the way of a Mackenzie Valley pipeline in exchange for millions of dollars for economic development programs.
As well, in an announcement released on Monday, the federal government has agreed to consult the Deh Cho before a final decision is made over the pipeline.
Ottawa is not giving the Deh Cho veto power over the pipeline decision, but has agreed to consider giving the First Nation more say in future land-use decisions.
Deh Cho Grand Chief Herb Norwegian says a key point of this agreement is that it puts the Deh Cho land claim and self government process back on track.
"Even though we were able to get some dollars out of Canada, this in no way means that the Deh Cho actually supports the Mackenzie gas pipeline project. What it does, it puts the Deh Cho on equal footing and we can now start dealing with some of the issues that are before us," says Norwegian.
The agreement also bans the Deh Cho from any court action of a similar nature for seven years.
In exchange, The Deh Cho will receive $15 million for economic development.
The First Nation will receive another $17 million to help its members participate in a review of the pipeline and self government talks.
The Deh Cho filed the lawsuits against the federal government last fall, demanding a bigger role in the regulatory review of the Mackenzie gas project.