More transparency on consultation needed: MP Cullen

  • Sep. 13, 2013 11:00 a.m.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen is criticizing the federal government for a lack of transparency regarding First Nations consultation on energy projects. Back in March, Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Douglas Eyford as a special federal representative for west coast energy infrastructure, with the goal of engaging First Nations in consultations about energy projects. Mr. Cullen said that since then, the government has been tight-lipped about the specifics of Mr. Eyford’s mandate and what he’s been doing. Mr. Eyford is supposed to be delivering two reports to the PM about his engagement with First Nations. However, when Mr. Cullen requested a copy of the report sent to the Prime Minister on June 28 under the Access to Information Act, the government refused, saying the report falls under a section of the Act that prohibits even the Information Commissioner of Canada from viewing it. “This isn’t a national security document or a top-secret report about ongoing military operations,” Mr. Cullen said. “This report is supposed to represent the efforts taken by the government to reach out to First Nations and hear their concerns and their goals.”