(Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during APTN’s virtual town hall hosted by anchor Cheryl McKenzie during the 2015 federal election.)
APTN National News
EDMONTON—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to back away Wednesday from an election pledge that First Nations would have a veto over natural resource projects on their territories.
Trudeau was in Edmonton to meet with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley whose provincial economy has been crippled by plummeting oil prices.
Alberta’s economic woes are also being felt across the country and it has increased pressure on Ottawa to back pipelines that will move Alberta-mined bitumen to tidewater.
During a joint press conference with Notley, Trudeau was asked whether he would still stick to his pledge that a First Nation’s no meant “no” on TransCanada’s proposed cross-country Energy East pipeline project and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline project in British Columbia.
The prime minister responded saying that he was committed to a “renewed relationship” with First Nations that “respect inherent and treaty rights.” He said the federal Liberal government looked to “First Nations and Indigenous peoples as partners in all that happens in this land.”
In an APTN virtual town hall held during the election campaign Trudeau was asked by anchor Cheryl McKenzie whether a no would “mean no under your government?”
Trudeau responded, “Absolutely.”