These are extracts of my submission to Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development regarding Bill S-6
I write to you today as a concerned citizen of the Yukon Territory and Canada. I and the people who support me feel strongly that Bill S-6, the amendments to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act, represent a form of “agency capture phenomena.” This phenomenon occurs when agencies such as the assessment board, that are supposed to protect us from corporate waste, pollution and inefficiency, become puppets for the industries that they are supposed to regulate.
By shortening the project assessment timelines, delegating important decision-making powers to people who can easily be manipulated by politics and relegating First Nations governments to being interest groups, Bill S-6 essentially takes us back to the time 20 years ago when our territory was nothing more than a colonial welfare state whose resources were managed from afar.
I am a concerned Yukon person who recognizes the use of fossil fuel is impacting our water, our atmosphere and our children’s future. I have lived in the Yukon for 30 years surrounded by the most resilient, innovative and progressive people. We worked together in good faith to create YESAA. The First Nations of the Yukon are part of the land, part of the water and we all have a duty to our ancestors to protect it for all our children’s sake.
I and many other Yukon people stand behind the Yukon First Nations opposition to the Bill S-6. We are not going back to colonial rule, we are fed up with our First Nation friends and neighbours having to go to court to protect our rights. There is no going back when we all have had the taste of the promise of self-governance.
I have no quarrel with the Canadian people, most are law abiding, honest and earnest. But there are some people in power who shouldn’t be and the flaws in Bill S-6 illustrate this perfectly.