McNeil government needs to re-engage with leaders of Sipekne’katik and Millbrook First Nations
January 26, 2016
The McNeil government needs to re-engage with leaders of Sipekne’katik and Millbrook First Nations regarding the Alton Gas project, says Truro-Bible-Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River MLA Lenore Zann.
Zann, who is also Aboriginal Affairs critic, is questioning whether the McNeil government’s consultative process thus far has been deep and meaningful. “Minister Samson says the project is moving forward, but a disconnect remains between the McNeil government and the Sipekne’katik community,” says Zann. “Minister Samson didn’t even bother to contact Sipekne’katik leaders before going public with Government’s most recent approvals. At this point, I am concerned that the project does not have the support of those bands most affected.”
Zann is disappointed that Premier Stephen McNeil, who is also the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, has taken a hands-off approach to this issue. “This issue is of utmost importance to First Nations in Nova Scotia, particularly the Sipekne’katik and Millbrook bands. Decisions around the Alton Gas project could have long-term effects on the relationship between these bands and the Province. As Premier and the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, I would like to see Mr. McNeil far more engaged in the process.”