That, Patterson said, is “jeopardizing our future economic self-sufficiency
and arbitrarily deciding for us to treat Nunavut like a protected areas
He accused Canada of taking its advice from the WWF, which maintains Arctic
offshore drilling is a risk, although in the past 500 wells have been drilled
in what are now Nunavut waters, Patterson said.
“I have fought my entire political life to end this kind of patronizing and
colonial Ottawa-knows-best decision,” Patterson said.
Proposals to protect big swaths of Nunavut land through the Nunavut Planning Commission’s draft Nunavut Land Use Plan won’t help the economy, people or caribou, Conservative Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson said April 4 at the Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit.
And, what’s more, the federal government has undermined devolution by imposing a moratorium on offshore Arctic gas and oil drilling, Patterson said.
Patterson was one of several speakers at the symposium who complained about the protected areas proposed in the NPC’s draft plan.
In a presentation, Patterson heaped scorn on three processes: the NPC’s Nunavut-wide land use plan, devolution and what he called Ottawa’s “paternalistic and colonial approach to Nunavut.”
Patterson, who said he’s always been an advocate for responsible development, slammed the draft land use plan, suggesting that the commission drop its idea of regional consultations planned for the Kivalliq and Kitikmeot regions of Nunavut, and produce a new redrafted plan this summer.
“What is the reason for the rush to finalize a plan that almost everybody except the World Wildlife Fund is seriously dissatisfied with,” Patterson said.
As for devolution, for which Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna hopes to get an agreement-in-principle on by the end of 2017, Patterson said it’s been undermined by the federal government’s decision to take oil and gas out of the negotiations, without consultation.
“I have fought my entire political life to end this kind of patronizing and colonial Ottawa-knows-best decision,” Patterson said.
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