VANDERHOOF (May 1, 2020) – BC Liberal MLA John Rustad is calling on John Horgan and the NDP to delay signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Wet’suwet’en rights and title until all clan members, including the elected chiefs, can be engaged and ratify it.
“We need all parties involved and to be engaged, and this includes the elected chiefs and all clan members,” said Rustad, the MLA for Nechako Lakes which falls within Wet’suwet’en territory. “It’s unacceptable that both the provincial and federal governments, in the middle of a pandemic, are planning to move ahead without proper engagement and consultation. You can’t arrive at long-lasting solutions by ignoring the people who live there.”
The hereditary chiefs reached a draft agreement with the federal and provincial governments on February 29th with a promise that all members of the Wet’suwet’en would have the opportunity to review the agreement and provide input on the MOU.
“The elected chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en have already declared that the MOU process lacks any semblance of credibility without their involvement,” Rustad added. “How can John Horgan and the NDP proceed with a signing ceremony on May 14th while ignoring the elected chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en people? The solution lies in genuine engagement with all clan members, including elected and hereditary chiefs. Any other solution will be divisive and prolong the disagreements and confusion.”