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REGIONAL CHIEF ISADORE DAY STATEMENT: FIRST NATIONS STILL NOT EQUAL PARTNERS IN ONTARIO’S LONG TERM ENERGY PLAN

(Toronto, October 27, 2017) “Yesterday the province released “Delivering Fairness and Choice: Ontario’s Long-term Energy Plan 2017” which sets the course for the energy landscape within the province for the next five years.

I acknowledge the work Ontario has done on the Long Term Energy Plan, recognizing points of collaboration with First Nations and especially supporting the foundational principle of protecting Mother Earth through energy conservation and greenhouse gas reduction.

Going forward First Nations need to be equal partners through inclusion in participatory processes and policy development that will drive the implementation of this plan. First Nations are poised to level the playing field and become major players in the energy field. However, we – which also includes all Ontarians – can only succeed when First Nations are fully involved in program development.

We are encouraged by the commitment to embrace innovation to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The impact of climate change on our traditional lands is frightening and impacts our very way of life. Full realization of this on our First Nation communities will require investment in foundational infrastructure such as homes, local energy systems and economies. We fear the creation of “carbon ghettos” by neglecting the systemic contributors to greenhouse gases in First Nations communities, like inefficient housing and transportation. Suddenly the stewards of the land are now the greatest contributors to ghg due to the inability to access the environments that support energy conservation and ghg reductions. If First Nations are provided the investment and opportunities, Ontarians can expect us to become innovators and leaders within the evolving clean tech economy.

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 The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario. 

For more information, please contact: Bryan Hendry, Policy and Strategic Communications

 

Phone: 613-863-1764 E-mail: Bryan.Hendry@coo.org