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As blockades continue, Kenney tells First Nations they should be partners in projects


As blockades continue to pop up across Canada, disrupting rail and road traffic to protest against the Coastal GasLink pipeline through Wet’suwet’en territory, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney told a conference on Indigenous participation in large projects Wednesday that First Nations are key partners in pushing energy projects forward. 

In what has become a common refrain for Kenney, he said “green left militants” are hurting Indigenous communities by removing any potential for economic growth in their territories.

“These people in Toronto and Vancouver who say shut it all down and leave it in the ground, where is their concern?” he said. 

Kenney emphasized the Alberta government’s commitment to supporting Indigenous communities financially through its Indigenous Opportunities Corporation, which offers a $1 billion backstop to allow communities to invest in projects.

He also announced the first recipients of the Indigenous litigation fund, meant to finance court challenges for groups that support resource development.

The Woodland Cree First Nation will receive $187,688 to join the province’s challenge to the contentious Bill C-69, which outlines new rules for resource projects in Canada.

His speech at the Indigenous Participation in Major Projects conference in Calgary came one day after a throne speech in the Alberta legislature that doubled down on the province’s commitment to oil and gas development, with pledges to crack down on those who disrupt “critical infrastructure.”

Earlier in the day, he said the government may invest directly in energy projects.

His appearance comes one day after a throne speech in the Alberta legislature that doubled down on the province’s commitment to oil and gas development, with pledges to crack down on those who disrupt “critical infrastructure.” Earlier in the day, he said the government may invest directly in energy projects.

Kenney’s speech will be followed by a panel discussion that featured the chief executive officer of Coastal GasLink, the company squarely in the centre of the national storm.





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