Northern Alberta chiefs raise warnings as C-69 Senate hearing heads to Fort McMurray

Image: Enbridge

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Some northern Alberta chiefs are warning that watering down the federal government's proposed environmental assessment law will only doom energy projects to more years of court wrangling.

Three Treaty 8 chiefs are to speak today in Fort McMurray to a Senate committee hearing on Bill C-69.

The legislation would reshape legislation written by the previous Conservative government.

Alberta and industry representatives have argued the bill will kill development through unending consultation and regulatory challenges.

But the chiefs say the current regime has forced them into nearly a dozen lawsuits against development on their lands.

And they say the province's energy regulator doesn't consider their concerns when it looks at new projects.

Chief Archie Waquan of the Mikisew Cree acknowledges Indigenous leaders in southern Alberta oppose the legislation.

But he says those First Nations aren't as affected by development as his people and that Treaty 8 nations have more to lose.

© 2019 The Canadian Press