The Government of Quebec, Canada, has introduced a CAD 1.5 billion Quebec Maritime Strategy, to the delight of local port authorities, but to the dismay of First Nations who said that the new strategy breaches the constitutional rights of the Aboriginal tribes.
”First Nations hold an Aboriginal title and Ancestral and treaty rights. The Constitutional Law of Canada, rulings from the Supreme Court of Canada, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, all the fundamental bases of a society established on rights clearly state that the development on the territory has to be made with First Nations. It has to be founded on a significant recognition of the status of all First Nations of this land,” a statement from the First Nations said.
First Nations also accused the Government of Quebec of leading a policy of exclusion, rather than inclusion of First Nations.
“Chiefs are still holding out a hand to Premier Couillard, but they won’t let anymore the ship of development leave without them,” said Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.
The proposed strategy is aimed at improving road and water links along the St. Lawrence Seaway, a gateway between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. The strategy also backs private investment projects in industrial port areas.
World Maritime News Staff