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Musqueam isn’t celebrating with BC regarding George Massey Tunnel Removal and Bridge Project

06/04/17
Author: 
First Nations Leaders

From: Jaime Sanchez
Sent: April-06-17 2:34 PM
Subject: Musqueam Press Release: Musqueam isn’t celebrating with BC regarding George Massey Tunnel Removal and Bridge Project
Importance: High

 

 

       
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    Musqueam First Nation
MEDIA RELEASE
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musqueam isn’t celebrating with BC regarding George Massey Tunnel Removal and Bridge Project

For Immediate Release                                                                                                        

Thurs. April 6, 2017

Musqueam Territory, Vancouver, BC – Canada.  Yesterday the BC government announced the  construction of a bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel (GMT). The project lies in the heart of Musqueam territory and the BC government has not received consent from Musqueam to proceed. It is in an area that has been occupied by Musqueam since time immemorial.  GMT is surrounded by heritage sites, and other culturally important sites, including fishing areas in the Lower Fraser River that Musqueam has Aboriginal rights to fish, which are protected by the Canadian Constitution after a Supreme Court of Canada ruling (R. v Sparrow, 1992).

 

Chief Wayne Sparrow stated, "Musqueam has not been meaningfully consulted nor accommodated for the GMT project. This project is in the core of our exclusive territory and the Provincial and Federal government have not received Musqueam’s consent.”

 

The GMT project will involve the construction of a 10-lane bridge, and the removal of the tunnel. The tunnel removal will add to the negative cumulative effects in Musqueam’s territorial waters in the Fraser River. BC and Canada have not considered these effects as they continue to approve projects like this without meaningfully consulting, accommodating and compensating Musqueam for these cumulative impacts. 

 

“Musqueam will not stand for the continued degradation of our lands and waters.  The BC and Canadian government have much work to do with us to ensure the GMT project can proceed according to Musqueam conditions”, said Chief Sparrow.  He added, “Musqueam is leading in areas of stewardship and management in our territory, and will raise the bar on all future projects in Musqueam territory.  We are not against development, but it must be done in ways that include Musqueam values, and ensures the protection of our rights.”

 

Musqueam has cultural sites all around the project and in the Lower Fraser River that provide evidence of Musqueam exclusive use and occupancy, thousands of years before Canadian Confederation.

 

Contact Information:

Gordon Grant, Protocol and Communications. Phone: (604) 862-0231