Latest exchange between TransCanada and Lubicon re: pipeline construction

Friends of the Lubicon
PO Box 444 Stn D,
Etobicoke ON M9A 4X4
Tel: (416) 763-7500
Email: fol (at) tao (dot) ca
www.lubicon.ca

January 15, 2009

Included below for your information are copies of the latest exchange between TransCanada Pipelines and the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation. Note that TransCanada is proceeding with construction of the controversial pipeline on the same day that it is advising the Lubicons that it's doing so, and that all TransCanada is proposing to discuss with the Lubicons is "opportunities with the NCC (North Central Corridor Pipeline) project activities".

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TransCanada
P.O. Box 670
Vegreville. AB
T9H 1V4

Jan 13, 2009

Attn: Chief Bernard Ominayak
Lubicon Lake Nation

RE: Recommencing survey and clearing work for NCC Route/right-of-way within the Lubicon Lake Nation land area.

Dear Chief Ominayak:

Tansi Chief Ominayak, hoping you and your family had an enjoyable Christmas holiday season and wishing you the best of the New Year.

I am sending you this notification letter informing you that TransCanada's survay and clearing work crews are restarting their activities within the Lubicon Lake Nation land area today, which includes working in the Haig Lake area alongside the existing Hunt Creek lateral.

TransCanada and the NCC project team members continue to make themselves available for any opportunity to meet with you and your community leadership for discussion on working together and opportunities with the NCC project activities.

Please call me at 780-603-4853 if you had any questions or replies to this letter, thank you.

Respectfully,

Original signed by

Armand Cardinal,
TransCanada - Wildrose Region, Community & Aboriginal Relations Liaison

CC:

Derek Siegel, TransCanada - NCC project manager
Bob Hudson, TransCanada - NCC project construction manager

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Lubicon Councillor Alphonse Ominayak's letter responding to TransCanada's Cardinal letter

Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
P.O. Box 6731
Peace River, AB T8S 1S5
Phone: (403) 629-3945
Fax: (403) 629-3939

January 13, 2009

Armand Cardinal
Community & Aboriginal Relations Liaison

TransCanada BY FAX
Fax: 780-632-3665

Dear Mr. Cardinal:

Your January 13th letter is another example of the kind of cynical duplicity the Lubicon people have come to expect from representatives of TransCanada. You wish us the best of the New Year in the same breath as you advise us that TransCanada will be "restarting their (pipeline construction) activities within the Lubicon Lake Nation land today" -- over our objections, without regard for our concerns, imperiling our environment, jeopardizing our aboriginal and land rights and threatening the future of our children and grandchildren.

In point of fact -- as we both know -- TransCanada is not "restarting" anything. TransCanada has been proceeding apace with its pipeline construction plans and activities all along. Letters such as this one, saying that "TransCanada and the NCC (North Central Corridor Pipeline) team members continue to make themselves available ...for discussion on working together and opportunities with the NCC activities", are just part of a carefully calculated effort to create the false illusion that TransCanada is prepared to take Lubicon concerns into account. Willingness to talk to the Lubicon people about what TransCanada is doing in unceded Lubicon Territory -- whether we agree to it or not -- is not willingness to take Lubicon concerns into account.

The members of one of your construction crews advised us today that they’d been falsely told by TransCanada that the problems with the Lubicons have been solved. They told us they didn’t want any trouble. They wisely left when we told them that the problems haven’t been solved and that officials of TransCanada had lied to them about reaching agreement with us -- just as officials of TransCanada lied earlier to Lubicon supporters and the media and provincial officials and the provincial regulatory agency about supposedly having reached agreement with us. TransCanada would be well advised to show some of the same wisdom as its construction crew.

The Lubicon people have never ceded our rights to our Territory through treaty with government of Canada or in any legally or historically recognized way. We don’t recognize Alberta jurisdiction over unceded Lubicon Territory and we don’t recognize the legitimacy of provincial licenses or permits purporting to authorize TransCanada to build a major new gas pipeline across unceded Lubicon Territory.

If TransCanada wishes to proceed unopposed in unceded Lubicon Territory it must first deal with Lubicon concerns and Lubicon requirements. Despite TransCanada’s phony public protestations to the contrary, TransCanada knows very well what Lubicon concerns and requirements are. They have been spelled out many times both verbally and in writing to TransCanada officials. Other companies wishing to conduct activities in unceded Lubicon Territory deal with these same concerns and meet these requirements all the time.

For the benefit of others receiving noted copies of this letter, Lubicon requirements are as follows:

1.) Companies must recognize and acknowledge that the Lubicon people have never signed treaty with the government of Canada ceding Lubicon rights to the Territory historically used and occupied by the Lubicon people;

2.) Companies must recognize and acknowledge that there is an on-going dispute between the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation and the Canadian Provincial Government of Alberta over who has rightful regulatory authority over Lubicon Territory that has been the subject of negotiations between the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation and both levels of Canadian government for many years;

3.) Pending settlement of Lubicon land rights, and prior to proceeding with the NCC pipeline project or any other project in unceded Lubicon Territory, companies must obtain the agreement of the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation not to oppose an application to the Alberta government based on meeting the following Lubicon requirements:

a.) answering Lubicon health and safety questions regarding activities proposed in Lubicon Territory;

b.) accommodating Lubicon social, cultural, environmental and wildlife concerns arising from activities proposed in Lubicon Territory;

c.) providing the Lubicon people with economic opportunities resulting from activities proposed in Lubicon Territory.

Lastly -- as officials of TransCanada have been repeatedly told -- and as you personally have been repeatedly told -- if TransCanada keeps trying to build this pipeline across unceded Lubicon Territory without first obtaining Lubicon agreement not to oppose it, the Lubicon people will fight it every inch of the way, every way we can, for as long as TransCanada Pipelines tries to operate in Lubicon Territory.

Sincerely,

ORIGINAL SIGNED BY

Alphonse Ominayak
Councilor
Lubicon Lake Indian Nation

Attach: Arcand 01/13/09 letter

Cc: The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Government of Canada
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H6
Email:Harper.S@parl.gc.ca

The Hon. Michael Ignatieff
Leader of the Official Opposition of Canada
Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Email:Ignatieff.M@parl.gc.ca

The Hon. Jack Layton
Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Email:Layton.J@parl.gc.ca

Gilles Duceppe
Leader of the Bloc Québéc
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Email:Duceppe.G@parl.gc.ca

Premier Ed Stelmach
Government of Alberta
Room 307, Legislature Building
1008 - 97th Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6
Email:fortsaskatchewan.vegreville@assembly.ab.ca

Dr. David Swann Leader of the Official Opposition of Alberta
Leader of the Liberal Party of Alberta
# 201 Legislative Annex
9718 107 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 1E4
Email:calgary.mountainview@assembly.ab.ca

Brian Mason
Leader of the New Democrat Party of Alberta
# 501 Legislative Annex
9718 107 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K1E4
Email:edmonton.highlandsnorwood@assembly.ab.ca

National Chief Phil Fontaine
Assembly of First Nations
Trebla Building
473 Alberta Street
Suite 810
Ottawa, ON K1R 5B4
Email:c/o sloft@afn.ca

Navi Pillay
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Plais Wilson
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland
Email:registry@ohchr.org

S. James Anaya
UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples
UN Human Rights Council
Plais Wilson
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland
Email:indigenous@ohchr.org

Julian Burger
Coordinator Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Unit
Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201, Geneva, Switzerland
Email:jburger@ohchr.org

Nicole Bjerler
Human Rights Council Team
UN Human Rights Council
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Plais Wilson
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland
Email:nbjerler@ohchr.org

Patrice Gillibert
Secretary of the UN Human Rights Committee
UN Human Rights Committee
c/o the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201, Geneva, Switzerland
Email:PGillibert@ohchr.org

Wan-Hea Lee
Secretary of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
c/o the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Plais Wilson
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland
Email:WLee@ohchr.org

Nathalie Prouvez
Secretary of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Plais Wilson
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland
Email:nprouvez@ohchr.org


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