MEDIA ADVISORY: First Nation Presents Legal challenge of Shell’s Tar Sands Expansion along with Allies and Supports

First Nation Presents Legal challenge of Shell’s Tar Sands Expansion along with Allies and Supports

FORT MCMURRAY, ALBERTAOn October 23rd the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) will be presenting their arguments regarding their question of Constitutional Law to the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) and the Joint Review Panel (JRP) with respect to Shell Canada’s application to expand their Jackpine Mine tar sands project. The questions brought forward by ACFN are rooted in section 35 of the Canadian constitution outlining the governments failure to meaningfully address the overall impacts of development on ACFN’s treaty rights as set out in Treaty 8. Although, the ERCB and JRP have agreed to hear evidence from ACFN they stated they have not determined if they will make decisions regarding constitutional challenges regarding section 35 rights.  Chief Allan Adam of ACFN, along with allies and supporters, will be making a public statement regarding the importance of this challenge noon at MacDonald Island Park.

What?   Drummers, Banners & Press Statement made by Chief Allan Adam with public support followed by evening speaking event with ACFN representatives, Maude Barlow and members of Beaver Lake Cree Nation and Fort McKay First Nation.  

When and Where?           Tuesday October 23, 20

9:00am Hearings Begin
MacDonald Island Park
151 MacDonald Drive,
Fort McMurrary, AB T9H 5C

12:00pm ACFN Press Statement
MacDonald Island Park
151 MacDonald Drive,
Fort McMurrary, AB T9H 5C5

6:30pm Speaking Event
Athabasca Room
MacDonald Island Park
151 MacDonald Drive,
Fort McMurrary, AB T9H 5C5

Why?     With new and emerging changes to environmental laws in Canada, ACFN’s constitutional challenge based on Section 35 constitutional rights and Treaty 8 may be the only recourse for effectively challenging tar sands projects.  The Jackpine Mine expansion application is scheduled to appear before the Joint Review Panel starting Oct. 29 in Fort McMurray, Alberta. However, the Panel is required to hear constitutional challenges on October 23rd before the full public hearings.  The proposed application would require the disturbance of 12,719 ha of land and destroy 21 kilometres of the Muskeg River, a culturally significant river.  Greenhouse gas emissions from the Jackpine expansion will total 2.36 Mt CO2e/year, representing an increase of 5.2% in oil sands emissions (based on 2009) or approximately 281,000 cars on the road.

For more information about the rally and press event please contact Eriel Deranger at 780-903-6598 or eriel.deranger@acfn.com

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