Montreal, February 14, 2020 – In keeping with an approach initiated by the Federation of Sisters of Saint Joseph of Canada, the Canadian Religious Conference (CRC) is challenging the Government of Canada concerning two delicate situations: one concerns the Wet’suwet’en Nation and the other is the Frontier Oil Sands Mine Project, proposed by Teck Resources.
The CRC has urged the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, to work vigorously for a just and peaceful resolution to the Coastal GasLink project. The words of the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, opposed to this gas pipeline, which must cross their territory (not conceded by treaty), must be heard in order to prevent any possible escalation of violence. The Government of Canada has made a commitment to respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and must abide by it.
At the same time, the CRC has also sent a letter to the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, regarding the Frontier Oil Sands Mine Project proposed by Teck Resources. Serious reservations have been expressed by a number of organizations and government structures regarding the environmental impact of such a project. The project would violate Canada’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect the environment, and respect Indigenous rights. It is time for the federal government to take into account not just the economic concerns of such projects, but the environmental concerns as well. Canada must seize this opportunity to initiate a concrete energy transition that respects the environment and people in a context of global climate emergency.
The two letters that the CRC has addressed to Minister Carolyn Bennett and Minister Jonathan Wilkinson respectively are available below (click on a button).
The CRC is an association that brings together the leaders of 250 Catholic congregations of women and men religious in Canada. Its mission is to encourage its members in living fully their vocation of following Christ and to support them in their prophetic testimony of justice and peace in society and the Church.