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Sep. 23 2013
Coastal First Nations in British Columbia have aimed an anti-oil tanker campaign directly at Prime Minister Stephen Harper in an apparent attempt to counter a federal push to get aboriginal leaders onside with resource development in the West.
A video featuring a Simon & Garfunkel song, The Sound of Silence, and dramatic images of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in 1989, all builds to the message: “British Columbians have spoken. Will Stephen Harper listen?”
The ad was released Monday on television and YouTube as deputy ministers from five federal departments met in Vancouver with First Nations leaders in what is seen as the biggest effort yet by Ottawa to smooth the way for energy projects proposed in B.C.
Art Sterritt, executive director of Coastal First Nations, an alliance of aboriginal groups, said the meetings taking place Monday and Tuesday could lead to a breakthrough in relations between native organizations and the federal government.
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