UN anti-racism committee wants to suspend Trans Mountain expansion, Coastal GasLink, claiming aboriginal issues

UN anti-racism committee wants to suspend Trans Mountain expansion, Coastal GasLink, claiming aboriginal issues
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The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is calling for a suspension of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Site C dam and Coastal GasLink pipeline.

The committee monitors a Convention to end racial discrimination signed onto by Canada.

According to the National Post, the committee, made up of 18 experts, says in a written directive last month that it is concerned by the approval and construction of the three projects. The committee's concern is that the projects are going ahead without the free, prior and informed consent of impacted Indigenous groups.

BC Hydro claims 400 Indigenous people are working on their Site C project, offering 230 million dollars in procurement opportunities. Further, Coastal Gaslink has the approval of the elected local Wet’suwet’en Band council to proceed with its pipeline. And Trans Mountain has signed 43 Mutual Benefit Agreements with Aboriginal groups in BC and Alberta along the pipeline route. The 18 experts on the committee apparently do not believe that these approvals are legitimate enough.

The anti-racism committee making the call is chaired by Nourredine Amir of Algeria. Other members are from a dozen other countries, including some of the world’s worst human rights offenders, such as China, Turkey and Russia.

Predictably, the UN, known for their extreme bias against Israel, didn’t include a single representative from the state of Israel on their GasLink-blocking racism committee, despite the global uptick in anti-Semitic crimes.

According to Human Rights Watch, committee chair Amir's home country of Algeria persecutes Ahmadiyya Muslims by outlawing any practice of the faith. More than 315 Ahmadis stood trial for faith-related offences between June 2016 and March 2018, and sentences ranged from fines to a year in prison.

The Chinese government has a deliberate strategy to lock up Uyghur and Kazakh ethnic minorities in re-education camps even before they commit a crime, to rewire their thoughts, strip away their religion, and silence the language they speak.

Kurds have received harsh treatment at the hands of the Turkish authorities for generations and hate crimes against Kurds in Turkey are on the rise.

And according to UN, in August, this very same UN committee called on Russia to allow the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights full access to Crimea so they could “address alleged [Russian] violations against Crimean Tartars, Roma, indigenous peoples, migrant workers, and other vulnerable groups.”

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage issued a statement in response to the hypocritical scolding of the UN committee:

“With all the injustice in the world, it’s beyond rich that the unelected, unaccountable United Nations would seemingly single out Canada – one of the greatest champions of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

“First Nations leaders increasingly recognize that responsible natural resource development can serve as a path from poverty to prosperity for their people. Yet this UN body seemingly ignores these voices.”

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  • By David Menzies

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