Is it all a secret?


I have several concerns arising from the revelation in last week’s “LD News” of a recent meeting between the Burns Lake Village Council and representatives from Enbridge.

First, why was this meeting so very well advertised? Did someone want to not engage the public? What are the minimal legal requirements about public notification of meetings? Should we assume that Enbridge was in charge? Or did the village council take this decision?

Enbridge seems to not want to talk with Canada’s First Peoples, especially women. Remember the hospitality shown to members of the Yinka Dene Alliance this week in Calgary …and Ta’Kaiya Blaney’s rejection in March.

How many times must people repeat “no, no, no!”? Yet Enbridge seems to act as if it has great First Nations’ consent. I’m tired of hearing mainstream media belch the mantra that “only a few” First Nations are opposed to these pipelines.

It seems that this piper prefers to deal with Aboriginal peoples and newcomers in different rooms and at different times. First Nations and neighbouring communities are being pulled into division by double standards. Why are legitimate First Nations’ governments compelled to meet all the ‘transparency’ guidelines issued by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), while other governmental councils hold seemingly legal ‘secret’ meetings?

I’m tired, too, of the “jobs” carrot. Throughout the world, governments have accomplished great things for their peoples when they invested in their populations, rather than diverting the people’s resources into the pockets of trans-nationals, with promises of little more than baubles and bread crumbs.

I think there are better options: facts to help us quickly understand that these lands have never been ceded. It’s a matter of culture, not money and negotiation.

I believe we have moral and ethical obligations to ensure that we and the progeny of all species have clean water — water which does not come in plastic bottles.

I am convinced that together we can create ways to deal quickly with the ongoing and escalating catastrophic damage to our planet, her ecosystems and climate, threatening all living creatures with whom we share this home.

Finally: What does history show us about when an individual, corporation, or government appears to be trying to evade or hide something?

We have many valid questions and we need to hear from our municipal government. They remain accountable to the people they serve.


John G Phair, Burns Lake