Ottawa's decision to avoid appealing a court ruling that stalled the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline project is a step in the right direction, the Squamish Nation says.
After the courts blocked the project on the grounds that the federal government failed to adequately consult with First Nations, Ottawa has announced a new round of talks with Indigenous leadership, including that of the Squamish Nation.
"Squamish Nation continues to have serious concerns about the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project," said Coun. Khelsilem (Dustin Rivers), the spokesperson for Squamish Nation in a news release.
"Our nation expects an honourable consultation process that upholds our nation's Indigenous rights. The Trudeau government tried to ram this project through our territory with a predetermined outcome and this was not acceptable to Squamish Nation or the courts."
The Squamish Nation says it has not yet seen the terms of reference for the consultation.
Khelsilem also added that the Nation will be concerned if the process has "artificial timelines or restrictions on our rights."
Previously, the Nation said the federal government failed to engage in a meaningful two-way dialogue with respect to the Squamish Nation's concerns with the TMX Project.
As a result, the Nation says, Ottawa failed to meet Canada's consultation obligations as prescribed by previous decisions of the Federal Court of Appeal.