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BC Chiefs threaten to block rail transport of oil

A group of Northern B.C. First Nation leaders say they’ll block any attempt to move oil by rail.

The leaders say First Nations rejection of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline has resulted in increased movement of oil by train, putting northern communities at a greater risk. They plan to organize a meeting of northern chiefs to discuss how to prevent or block the transport of oil by rail.

Chief Dan George of Burns Lake Band,Chief Archie Patrick of Stellat’en First Nation, Larry Marsden, Head Chief, on behalf of the Gitsegukla hereditary chiefs, Art Mathews, Head Chief on behalf of the Gitwangak Hereditary Chiefs, and Wes Sam, Business and Economic Development Lead, Burns Lake Band have committed to exploring the proposed Eagle Spirit Energy pipeline which would ship oil to the B.C coast for export.

But not everyone buys the argument.

Coastal First Nations has said that the Eagle Spirit pipeline proposal is just as dead in the water as Northern Gateway because First Nations on the coast have said no to any oil exports off the coast of B.C.

Executive Director Art Sterritt says the oil-by-rail argument is simply a scare tactic being used by Eagle Spirit as it tries to garner support for its proposal.

The five First Nations leaders plan to sit down with northern chiefs in the next 30-45 days.

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