In their plans to build a jumbo pipeline across unceded Lubicon territory, TransCanada’s failure to consult and address the concerns of the Lubicon Cree has begun ricocheting back at the company.
According to a Press Release by the Friends of the Lubicon dated February 26, TransCanada shareholders have learned of the failure and are now “taking the company to task for mismanaging the issue of aboriginal land rights and rightly raising the possibility of delays and/or cancellation of the project if Lubicon land rights are not properly addressed by the company.”
In a letter to letter to the Chairman of the Board of TransCanada (pdf), one investor writes:
“As shareholders, we are deeply concerned with [the Lubicon Statement of Intent to Participate] as well as with management’s handling of this situation.
“At minimum, it constitutes an undisclosed and poorly managed risk to our investment, including potential negative impacts on TransCanada’s financing, insurance, public image or anticipated regulatory decisions. It could also lead to legal or political challenges and serious delays in company plans and projections, which could in turn threaten the company’s markets for the natural gas to be carried by the NCC pipeline, as potential buyers turn elsewhere for their energy needs. One need only look at the delays and difficulties faced by other northern pipelines to see that failure to adequately address aboriginal land rights along the pipeline route has the potential to delay or even terminate an otherwise green-lit project.
“More to the point, however, this situation constitutes an unacceptable failure by management to adequately address a serious, internationally recognized human rights issue that pertains directly to the operations of the company. This is deeply troubling to us as shareholders.” [emphasis added]
Here the investor is referring to the fact that the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) has previously issued two rulings in defense of Lubicon rights, in 1990 and 2005. Both of them explicitly called for Canada to ensure the Lubicon were consulted “before granting licenses for economic exploitation of the disputed land, and ensure that in no case such exploitation jeopardizes the rights recognized under the [International] Covenant [on Civil and Political Rights].”
The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights issued a similar ruling in 2006.And there was yet another ruling in November 2007 by the Special Rapporteur for Housing, which called for Canada to “place a moratorium on all oil and extractive activities in the Lubicon region until a settlement is reached with Lubicon Lake Nation.”
Canada has failed, or perhaps more accurately “refused” to take action in respect to these rulings. TransCanada has been doing the same so far, but with the shareholders now coming forward that may have to change.
To that end, the Friends of the Lubicon ask that “if you or someone you know holds shares in TransCanada (either directly or through a mutual fund), please contact Friends of the Lubicon. We can assist you with making your concerns known to TransCanada and ensuring that your investments contribute to supporting the Lubicon Nation rather than profiting from this assault on the rights of the Lubicon people.”
Friends of the Lubicon
P.O. Box 444, Stn. D,
Canada, M9A 4X4
For more news, information, and to learn how to support the Lubicon, please visit lubicon.ca and the more regularly updated lubicon.org
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