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432-00547 (Indigenous affairs)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

PETITION TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED

Whereas:

  • Canadian constitutional law is accountable to the human rights obligations outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
  • Canada has also committed to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action;
  • The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has called on Canada to:
    • immediately suspend work on the Coastal GasLink pipeline until free, prior, and informed consent is obtained from Indigenous Peoples;
    • Immediately cease the forced eviction of Wet'suwet'en Peoples;
    • Prohibit the use of lethal weapons against Indigenous Peoples and guarantee no force will be used against them;
    • Withdraw the RCMP and associated security and policing services, from traditional lands;
  • Hereditary Chiefs have the right to grant consent, or not, for activities on their territories; and,
  • The Coastal GasLink project has the potential to release massive amounts of methane through the extraction, transport, liquefaction and regasification processes

We, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada call upon the House of Commons in Parliament assembled to:

  • Commit to upholding the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action by immediately:
    • Halting all existing and planned construction of the Coastal GasLink project on Wet'suwet'en territory;
    • Ordering the RCMP to dismantle their exclusion zone and stand down;
    • Schedule nation-to-nation talks between the Wet'suwet'en Nation and federal and provincial governments; and,
    • Prioritize the real implementation of UNDRIP.

Response by the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Gary Anandasangaree

The Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations (CIR) would like to thank the petitioners for expressing their interest in the Wet’suwet’en Nation` and Coastal GasLink pipeline project. The Government endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples without qualification in 2016 and is committed to its full implementation in partnership with Indigenous peoples. On December 3, 2020, the Ministers of Justice and CIR introduced to Parliament Bill C-15 – An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Minister of CIR and the British Columbia Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation met with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs between February 27 and 29, 2020. These talks focused on two separate topics: the recognition of Wet’suwet’en Aboriginal rights and title throughout their territory and the issues arising out of the Coastal GasLink project. These topics were discussed separately. The Coastal GasLink pipeline remains entirely within provincial jurisdiction.

Canada, British Columbia, and the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on May 14, 2020. This MOU establishes a path forward for discussions toward substantive agreements that would describe future governance and the implementation of Wet’suwet’en rights and title. These nation-to-nation talks have been ongoing.

The Government is committed to reconciliation with all Indigenous peoples, including the Wet’suwet’en Nation.

Presented to the House of Commons
Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
February 23, 2021 (Petition No. 432-00547)
Government response tabled
April 12, 2021
Photo - Elizabeth May
Saanich—Gulf Islands
Green Party Caucus
British Columbia

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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