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Opinion: Don’t try to outlaw Indigenous pride in contributing to oil and gas – Yahoo Finance Canada

March 21, 2024

A private member’s bill introduced in the House of Commons by the NDP’s Charlie Angus last month has caused waves out west. It would ban advertisements by fossil fuel companies on the grounds that they undermine climate action. But it goes much further than that. It actually makes it illegal — punishable by hefty fines and even jail time — for “persons” to “promote” fossil fuels. Promotion is defined so vaguely it could easily cover social media posts or conference presentations by individuals such as myself.

Most people I know don’t pay much attention to bills in Parliament. But this one has got us talking. The part of it that stood out to me was: it is “prohibited for a person to promote a fossil fuel” in a manner that suggests it would “lead to positive outcomes in relation to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.”

This would make the organization I lead, the Indigenous Resource Network, a target. Our mandate is to promote Indigenous participation in, and benefits from, resource development, which to us includes the tens of thousands of Indigenous people involved in the oil and gas sector. We actively work with partners in industry to find win-win solutions — projects that provide well-paying jobs to Indigenous workers and revenues to our communities while advancing best practices in safety and environmental protection.

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