Disgraced Gitxsan Treaty Negotiator Rewarded with Appointment to Prince Rupert Port Authority


Read this story from the Vancouver Sun on the controversial paid appointment by the Harper Government of Elmer Derrick – the former Gitxsan treaty negotiator who was fired for cutting an unauthorized deal with Enbridge behind his nation’s back – to the board of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. (April 20, 2012)

The northern B.C. first nation chief who signed a controversial deal to support Enbridge’s $5.5-billion oil pipe-line has been appointed by the federal government to the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

As a director of the board, Gitxsan hereditary chief Elmer Derrick will receive payment, although it is not clear exactly how much.

“It’s a strange appointment. It raises the possibility it’s a quid pro quo for supporting the pipeline,” said NDP Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen, whose riding includes a large stretch of the Northern Gateway pipeline route.

Cullen noted that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is a supporter of the pipeline, meant to open up new markets in Asia for crude from the Alberta oilsands.

When Derrick, who is the chief negotiator with the Gitxsan Treaty Office, announced he had signed a pipe-line ownership deal with Enbridge that would provide $7 million over a 30-year period, it sparked an immediate battle with other leaders in the community who said they don’t sup-port the project.

In the face of the opposition to the deal from dozens of Gitxsan hereditary chiefs, Enbridge pulled out of the ownership agreement.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Chief%2Bfederal%2Bpost%2Braises%2Beyebrows/6490353/story.html


About Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.