Yukon NDP: Liberals and Yukon Party deny First Nations' right to consent
Whitehorse — Today, the Liberals and the Yukon Party refused the right to consent for First Nations in the Yukon.
In 2012, the Yukon Party, then in government, repealed section 13 of the Oil and Gas Act, also known as the "First Nation consent clause", despite vehement disagreement from Yukon First Nations and the Yukon NDP.
"This could have been a historic day for the Yukon -- but the Liberals and the Yukon Party voted otherwise. This Bill was the opportunity to right the wrongs of the past, and the Liberal government chose not to." — Kate White, Leader of the Yukon NDP
The Yukon NDP's Bill 306, introduced by the Yukon NDP Leader Kate White, would have restored the right of Yukon First Nations without a signed final agreement to consent to oil and gas activity in their territory.
"Consent is the future of modern treaties. Consent is the future of government-to-government relationships. Consent is the future of our territory. The question to ask ourselves is, do we want to take that leap, or do we get left behind? The Yukon NDP has been clear on our position. It is disappointing that the Liberals and the Yukon Party do not honour the principle of consent," said White.
Multiple Yukon First Nations have expressed support of this Bill, but this did not matter to the Liberal government.
"Yukon First Nations have been seeking consent to enter territory for generations. We are the guardians of our lands, and we are the ones whose communities and lands are impacted by resource extraction projects." — Annie Blake, MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin
- 30 -