Hold off on assessments until Bill S-6 amended, Yukon First Nation urges premier
Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation wants say on any environmental assessment renewals
The Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation wants the Yukon government to hold off on any changes to the territory's environmental assessment renewals, until the new Liberal government deals with Bill S-6.
The controversial bill was made law last spring, but the federal Liberals campaigned on a promise to repeal those sections deemed problematic by Yukon First Nations.
Until the new Trudeau government follows through, the new law stands and the Yukon government has the authority to skip assessments when a project is up for renewal.
"There needs to be consultation. As it stands, there is no consultation," said Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Chief Roberta Joseph.
Yukon Liberal leader Sandy Silver also urged the government to hold off on any rubber-stamping of projects. Silver pushed Premier Darrell Pasloski to provide reassurances that the government will consult.
"There is a window where the new rules will apply before the bill can be fixed by the incoming government," Silver said. "How does the government intend to consult with First Nations when the Conservatives' new law says that they do not have to?"
Pasloski repeated his invitation for "trilateral discussions" on Bill S-6, and said he won't fight any changes the Trudeau government might make.
"We have assured the prime minister[-designate] directly that this government will not be a barrier to changes to the legislation," Pasloski said.
Three First Nations launched a lawsuit earlier this month against the changes included in Bill S-6. They've refused to suspend the lawsuit until the new government amends the legislation.