The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNERD) has called for Canada to halt the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline, the Coastal GasLink pipeline, and the Site C Dam. According to the UN, Canada must give each of the effected First Nations an effective veto over the projects, and it is concerned about “forced removal, disproportionate use of force, harassment and intimidation” and “escalating threat of violence” against First Nations.
To date, no arrests or removals have been recorded by the RCMP of peaceful protestors on their own land.
First Nations leaders are currently divided on the future of the projects after nearly a decade of consultations ordered by Parliament, the cabinet, and courts.
“The Canadian courts have reviewed our consultation with certain First Nations and found it to be adequate and to have appropriately accommodated their interests,” said BC Hydro in a statement.
“To date, more than $230 million in Site C procurement opportunities has been committed to Indigenous companies. In addition, we have around 400 Indigenous Peoples currently working on the project.”
Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage responded without sympathy to the UN’s report.
“With all the injustice in the world, it’s beyond rich that the unelected, unaccountable United Nations would seemingly single out Canada – one of the greatest champions of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. We wish that the UN would pay as much attention to the majority of First Nation groups that support important projects such as Trans Mountain and Coastal GasLink.”
The federal government has not yet responded to the report.