Canadian officials ask tribe to give up site for LNG port

Oct 07, 2004 02:00 AM

The Town Council approved a proclamation that asks the Passamaquoddy Tribe to reconsider its plans to build a LNG facility at Pleasant Point and "make informed and socially meaningful decisions" regarding its vote. A Tulsa, Oklahoma energy partnership and the Passamaquoddy Tribe have been considering a LNG facility near Eastport, about an hour from St Andrews.
The $ 300 mm facility would be built on 42 acres of tribal land. It would connect with the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, which carries natural gas from Sable Island off Nova Scotia through Maine and on to markets in the North-eastern United States.

Councillor Michael Craig objected to the use of the words "make informed and socially meaningful decisions." He recommended that that portion of the proclamation be removed.
"I am sure [the Passamaquoddy] make informed and socially meaningful decisions all of the time," he said. "We're saying that if you don't agree with us, you are not making socially meaningful decisions." But the majority members of the council voted to approve the proclamation as written.

Tribal state Rep. Fred Moore said he viewed the proclamation as "appalling."
"This goes to show they will stop at nothing to prevent the Passamaquoddy people from succeeding or engaging in activity that will promote their long-term benefit," he said.
"Haven't these people done enough to us already. Haven't they done enough by kicking us out of our ancient homeland and digging up our burial sites? Now they want to go and continue to starve us and help prevent us from feeding ourselves and paying our bills."

Moore was referring to a move by the Passamaquoddy several years ago to lay claim to land in St Andrews and parts of New Brunswick. At that time, tribal officials notified the Canadian government that their rights to Indian Point in St Andrews had been stolen from them. The Canadian government has ignored their claim.
Although the majority members of the Town Council approved the proclamation, they did not pass asimilar resolution asking for neighbouring Saint John, New Brunswick, to prohibit the construction of an LNG facility there. The proposed Canadian LNG terminal would be at Mispec, near Saint John, also about an hour from St Andrews.

The Irving project has been in the permitting stage for three years. The international corporate giant expects the LNG receiving terminal to be operating by 2007. The New Brunswick facility would be a first for Atlantic Canada. It would supply some of the US gas market.
After the meeting, Mayor John Craig said the council had not considered a similar resolution for the Saint John project.
"As far as I am concerned, that is a good spot for an LNG [terminal], " he said. "The province has put a lot of stipulations on to that project up there, and I feel quite comfortable with what they have in place that things would be safe up in that area."

If the Passamaquoddy move forward with its plans, Craig said, the town could pressure the federal government to close Canadian waters to the supertankers.
"These tankers have to go through our waters so we can put pressure on our federal government to make sure they don't go through our waters," he said.
Moore said the water belonged to the Passamaquoddy, not St Andrews. The tribal leader aid he doubted the proclamation would even be read by the tribe, let alone discussed.
"It takes a lot of gall for the town council of St Andrews to write to the Passamaquoddy Tribal Nation, given the fact that they are trespassing on our land," he said.

Source: PowerMarketers
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