LINE 3: touted with First Nations, politicians on hand.....

LINE 3: touted with First Nations, politicians on hand.....

Postby Oscar » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:47 am

Enbridge touts Line 3 with First Nations, politicians on hand

[ ... ns-on-hand ]

There are 95 Indigenous communities along the pipeline's path and Enbridge currently has agreements in place with 58 of them.

D.C. Fraser, Regina Leader-Post Updated: August 20, 2018

(PHOTO: Bulldozers work on a pipeline right-of-way that will eventually be the site of a new Enbridge pipeline. BRANDON HARDER/ Regina Leader-Post)

WHITE CITY AREA — At a time when pipelines have been courting controversy and protests, Enbridge Energy continued promotion of its Line 3 replacement project on Monday.

Reporters, Indigenous leaders and politicians were invited on a tour to see work taking place on the project, which will see replacement of more than a thousand kilometres of pipeline stretching from Hardisty, Alta., to southern Manitoba to carry crude oil to U.S. refineries.

There are 58 agreements in place, covering 95 Indigenous communities and groups in Western Canada, but not all of them are along the pipeline’s path.

“Obviously Enbridge will continue to reach out and work with the communities, but they have the full legal authority to go forward,” federal Minister of Public Safety and Preparedness Ralph Goodale said Monday after touring the site.

The Regina MP said if a pipeline proponent, like Enbridge, honestly and sincerely consults First Nations communities by listening and responding to concerns, that is the “minimum acid test” for whether or not the consultation has been genuine.

Essentially, he argues whether or not that level of consultation leads to First Nations supporting a pipeline project is secondary to the effort of consultation.

To that end, Goodale said Enbridge has done “an extraordinary job of outreach.”

He pointed to the First Nations who were part of Monday’s tour of the pipeline construction that’s underway.

“They weren’t all that impressed with this proposal a number of years ago, but because of the outreach and the commitments made, the respect that was shown, they were prepared now to support the project,” said Goodale.

Pasqua First Nations Chief Mathew Todd Peigan said they first started discussing the project with Enbridge in 2014 to identify areas important to the community, such as burial grounds and ceremonial areas.

There were also concerns with water, as the pipeline runs into the Qu’Appelle River.

Peigan says the company dealt with those concerns, agreeing that the identified sites won’t be disturbed, and Enbridge’s activity near the water will be continuously monitored by the First Nation.

“It took a lot of discussion, and we’re happy with that,” he said, adding later, “Enbridge wants to foster good working relationships with Indigenous groups along the corridor of the pipeline.”

In addition, he noted there are economic benefits, including jobs, being made available to Pasqua First Nation as a result of the work.

Dave Lawson, Enbridge’s vice president of major projects execution, admits “you’ll never have complete support” but committed to “active listening” by the company, “trying to understand their point of view and trying to see if there is a common ground that you can get to.”
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