Offer rejection “formidable roadblock”

  • Sep. 29, 2003 7:00 p.m.

The Petroleum News is calling the Council of the Haida Nation’s recent rejection of the BC government’s land offer “a formidable roadblock” to an offshore oil and gas industry.
Last month, the province offered the Haida Nation 20-percent of the islands – 200,000 hectares – in return for dropping its title court case and returning to the treaty table. The CHN has claimed aboriginal title and rights to Haida Gwaii, including the surrounding seabed.
The offer, made in early September, is good for six months. However, CHN president Guujaaw has already said the Haida will be continuing with the title case.
The Alaska-based Petroleum News says in its latest issue that the BC government wants to award exploration permits for the Queen Charlotte basin by 2004 and approve seismic surveys by 2005. But it notes that the CHN position means “the British Columbia government has collided with a formidable roadblock in its campaign to establish a functioning offshore oil and natural gas industry by 2010.”