Ontario Regional Chief Day’s Response to the Joint Statement from the Ontario Minister of Energy and the Quebec Minister of Energy and Natural ResourcesAugust 15, 2017 8:59 pm
(Toronto, August 15, 2017) The Province of Ontario released a statement yesterday indicating the intended collaboration between Ontario and Quebec regarding energy sector related opportunities. The two provinces have been examining opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide savings to Ontario ratepayers. While both provinces have committed to jobs, prosperity, protection of the environment and respect for local and Indigenous communities, Ontario Regional Chief Day is reminding both ministers of the commitments made through the various Treaties throughout Ontario and Quebec.
First Nations in these regions need to be at the table as meaningful collaborators and cannot be regarded as ratepayers. Section 35 rights extend beyond Canadian made provincial borders, and First Nations throughout these territories needs to be recognized as rights holders and decision-makers of the resources within these lands. In fact, any discussions on establishing northern transportation/trade/energy corridors must fully include First Nations, who would be equal partners.
Considering the Provincial and Federal commitments for renewed relationships toward reconciliation and the implementation of key documents like; the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, The United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the modernization of the National Energy Board, now is the time to be innovative and inclusive in long term energy policy. First Nations should be partners in resource revenue sharing, resource management and energy planning. The path to future prosperity for Ontario, Quebec, and Canada runs through First Nation lands and waters. Now is the time to fully involve this country’s Original Peoples in protecting our environment while sustainably growing our mutual economies for future generations and securing a future for our children.
The Chiefs of Ontario is an advocacy organization, and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada.
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