Chevron has no plans to sue the Yukon government over their Crest iron ore deposit.
Ajay Bhardwaj, a Chevron spokesperson, called the idea “pure speculation.”
“I can’t comment on speculation at all,” he said.
Earlier this month, Resources Minister Brad Cathers suggested that if the government shuts off access to the Peel watershed, Chevron will sue and the Yukon will lose.
“We would, quite simply, lose in court to Chevron, which has a lot deeper pockets and a lot better lawyers than the Yukon government does.”
It’s too early for Chevron to comment on how the outcome of the Peel plan might affect the Crest property, said Bhardwaj.
“We respect the Peel watershed regional land use plan process, and we’ll continue to work with the Government of the Yukon and various First Nations there. Right now it’s still early days for us to comment on where it goes from here.”
The Crest site was first staked and explored in the 1960s.
Over the past two seasons, Chevron has been cleaning up messes left by earlier work. That project should wrap up this year, said Bhardwaj.
A 45,000-gallon fuel tank has been dismantled and removed from the site, along with a crashed helicopter, airplane parts, tin cans and old camping equipment.
CPAWS releases Peel numbers
Ninety-four per cent of feedback during the recent Peel consultation supported the recommended plan or protection of the region, according to the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.
The government’s own report from the consultation documented the themes, but did not give any numbers indicating how many people fell into one camp or another.
Since all the feedback was posted online, CPAWS hired an independent consultant to do the count.
“So many people have expressed their frustration and bewilderment that government chose not to publish these numbers that we felt obligated to calculate the numbers ourselves,” said Gill Cracknell, executive director of CPAWS-Yukon.
All submissions were categorized as either in support of the recommended plan or protection, opposed to the recommended plan or protection, in support of the government’s modified plans, or none of the above.
Among all submissions, 94 per cent favoured the recommended plan or protection. When form letters and petitions were excluded, that number was 82 per cent.
Among the submissions from Yukon and N.W.T., where residency could be determined, 82 per cent favoured protection.
The numbers do not represent a statistical analysis, said Cracknell, since it would be impossible to determine when multiple submissions have come from a single individual.
However, “as an overall picture, it’s overwhelming. There’s no doubt about it. Both the qualitative and the quantitative analysis shows what tremendous support there is for the commission’s final recommended plan.”
Consultation on Peel yet to start: First Nations
First Nations say the government has yet to begin consulting with them on the Peel plan. The premier says the consultation began last fall.
“The next step, which has not yet begun, is intergovernmental consultation on the plan among the First Nations and the Yukon,” according to a press release signed by chiefs of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in, Vuntut Gwitchin, First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun and Gwich’in Tribal Council.
Not so, says Premier Darrell Pasloski. In the legislature earlier this week, he said that First Nation consultation has been ongoing since last fall.
“As I have described, the process of consulting with the First Nations began last year. In fact, it began five or six weeks before the public consultation began when we had our initial consultation with the affected First Nations at that time.”
The First Nations are currently reviewing the public comments from the Yukon’s most recent round of public consultation on the Peel plan, according to the release.
“The public and intergovernmental consultations will inform the parties’ decisions regarding plan approval and implementation. The First Nations are in communication with Yukon to determine the process and schedule for intergovernmental consultation and plan approval.”
The Yukon government had originally set March 25 as the deadline for consultation with the First Nation governments. However, Pasloski has said that the March 25 deadline was not “hard-and-fast,” but represented the minimum time frame for First Nation consultation.
Contact Jacqueline Ronson at