Published in the Edmonton Journal on Wednesday, August 21st:
Indigenous Ownership Of TMX is a Win-Win-Win
"..... Section 35 of our Constitution legally requires us to respect current and future Aboriginal and treaty rights. In practice, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled this creates a duty on the federal government to consult First Nations whose lands and rights are affected by a project and accommodate their concerns. This duty is most important where treaties have not yet been concluded.
Most of B.C. is not covered by treaties with First Nations. The modern treaty process in B.C. has resulted in the successful conclusion of only the Nisga’a Treaty.
There is no constitutional override of Section 35.
ownership of TMX would help meet this legal obligation, advance reconciliation and achieve other important goals for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. These include job creation, genuine empowerment of Indigenous communities, improved safety and government program support.
New projects based on new ways of thinking will lead to a brighter future for Canada. Indigenous people will achieve economic independence and self-determination. Overcoming pipeline gridlock will boost our oil and gas industry. Sending our resources to higher-priced international markets delivers self-evident benefits to all Canadians.
All of this further strengthens the social and economic bonds that unite this great country.
Indigenous majority ownership of TMX will be a win-win-win."
You can read the full opinion piece HERE.
Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan to march with YYC VOICES in the 2019 Calgary Pride Parade
Calgary, AB (July 30, 2019): David Khan has been invited to march in the 2019 Calgary Pride Parade with YYC VOICES, Calgary's Coalition of Two-Spirit, Trans, Queer and Straight people of colour.
“David Khan is Alberta's first openly-gay leader of a major political party and a leading advocate for LQBTQ2S+ rights. I am proud to invite him to march with VOICES representing himself as a queer person of colour (“QPOC”),” says Michelle Robinson, Co-Founder and Allied Board Member of YYC VOICES.
Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan issues statement on National Indigenous Peoples Day
Calgary, AB (June 21, 2019): Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan says, “National Indigenous Peoples Day is a time for Albertans and all Canadians to celebrate the cultural diversity of Indigenous peoples. I encourage everyone to learn more about the rich tradition and history of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples across this Province and throughout Canada.
“It is not enough to celebrate Indigenous culture. We must also commit to improving the quality of life of all Indigenous Peoples. Past policies have caused incalculable harm to Indigenous Peoples and some current policies continue those regrettable effects. This is unacceptable and must change immediately.
“We, as a society, and our governments must accept the conclusions of the Final Report of the National Inquiry on Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women & Girls (“MMIWG”) that genocide was perpetrated on Indigenous Peoples, and act on its 231 individual “Calls for Justice” and the 94 “Calls to Action” of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Parliament and provincial Legislatures must enshrine the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (“UNDRIP”) into law.
“Colonial practices and contemporary underfunding on reserves have resulted in higher rates of drug use, mental illness, suicide, incarceration, and a modern “Sixties Scoop” or “Millennial Scoop” of Indigenous children being taken into state care. Some reserves are still challenged in accessing basic necessities such as clean water.
“Indigenous Albertans also face greater economic challenges as well. In 2017 the unemployment rate for Indigenous Albertans was 12 per cent compared to the 7.7 per cent unemployment rate for non-Indigenous Albertans. “Economic reconciliation” includes sharing resource revenues and opportunities with Indigenous communities, including Indigenous equity participation or ownership in resource and infrastructure projects like the Trans Mountain Pipeline and expansion.
“Both the Alberta and Federal Governments must do more to resolve these serious issues. We must address the rising number of Indigenous children in state care, close funding gaps, guarantee access to clean water, improve education and eliminate the gap in funding for on-reserve vs. off-reserve schools, and provide sustainable police services.
“Jurisdictional wrangling must be overcome: First Nations governments and the Provincial and Federal governments all have a role to play, while respecting and enhancing First Nations sovereignty and governance, in the spirit of reconciliation.
“I encourage all Albertans and Canadians to celebrate Indigenous Culture and commit themselves to support real change on the shared path towards reconciliation.
“We must do this not just today, but every day.”