Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Approves Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project

According to Enbridge, the multibillion-dollar Line 3 replacement represents the largest project in the company’s history. Here, contractors work near Superior, Wis. MPR News

Minnesota regulators have approved Enbridge’s proposal to replace its Line 3 pipeline across the northern part of the state.

According to media reports, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved the $9-billion Enbridge Line 3 replacement project on Thursday afternoon.

MPR News says the decision came with several conditions, including a decommissioning trust fund to ensure the new pipeline will be retired responsibly decades from now. Enbridge will also be required to follow through on a promise to landowners to remove portions of the old Line 3 upon request.

The Globe and Mail reports, a narrow 3-2 decision approved Enbridge’s preferred route for the pipeline, south of the existing corridor, with only slight modifications, meaning the company dodges the potential for lengthy delays and added costs of alternatives.

Indigenous tribes and environmental groups vowed immediately to appeal the decision and maintain their resistance to the project.

In a sign of potential clashes ahead, the commission was interrupted midway through Thursday’s deliberations in St. Paul, Minn., by shouts that it had “declared war on the Ojibwe.”

Native american activists and environmentalists oppose the project, saying it’s unnecessary and would risk spills in pristine areas of the state.

Line 3 also requires 29 additional permits from local, state and federal levels, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said in a statement. “Approvals are by no means assured,” he said.

Appeals of the commission’s decisions go to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

The Minnesota Legislature also could intervene when it reconvenes next year. Dayton vetoed a bill last session that would have let Enbridge bypass the commission and proceed with replacing Line 3. But voters will elect a new governor and a new Legislature in November.

The total length of the Line 3 replacement is 1,031-mile (1,660-km) from Alberta in western Canada to Wisconsin.

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Saskatchewan Premier wants Police to remove Justice for Our Stolen Children camp

The Justice for Our Stolen Children camp has grown to nine teepees.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is backing calls for police to remove teepees that protesters have set up on the legislature grounds, forcing changes to Canada Day plans.

Moe says there are laws that cover the park surrounding the provincial legislature to ensure that it’s available to everyone.

“The fact (is) that the protests that we do see across the way are breaking laws here, and those laws should be enforced,” Moe said Thursday.

The Justice for Our Stolen Children camp was set up to protest racial injustice and the disproportionate number of Indigenous children apprehended by child-welfare workers.

The camp started in late February and was dismantled early last week before being set up again June 21 with more teepees.

Bylaws prohibit overnight camping, placement of structures and burning wood and other combustibles in the park.

The Provincial Capital Commission said on Wednesday that it has had to make alterations to its Canada Day festivities, because the space where the camp is situated normally has a concert stage and beer gardens.

Regina police have said there’s no need to step in at this point, because a meeting is scheduled for Monday between the protesters and five government ministers in the town of Fort Qu’Appelle.

Camp protester Robyn Pitawanakwat said Thursday that she thinks there are laws being broken by pushing out peaceful protests.

“There are charter rights that are being put in violation when that happens,” she said. “Breaking the law is not just one sided in this regard. Bylaws are very minor and charter rights supersede those.”

Moe said it’s the government’s expectation that the teepees will be removed either before or after the meeting. As of Thursday morning, there were nine teepees at the camp.

“We continue to work with First Nations leaders across the province on the issues that have been raised just here,” Moe said. “If the teepees are removed previous to that (meeting), that would be positive as well.”

Pitawanakwat said there needs to be a focus on justice before the teepees are removed.

“We need families coming home,” she said. “We need to have children put back in biological family settings that are open and willing to take them.”

Ryan McKenna, The Canadian Press

[SOURCE]

Hamilton-area homeowner found not guilty in shooting death of Six Nations man

Peter Khill, left, faced second-degree murder charges in the killing of Jon Styres, right, during a break-in.

Former reservist in Canadian army acquitted in shooting death of indigenous man 

A jury has found Peter Khill, not guilty in the shooting death of Jon Styres, a indigenous man, he believed was trying to steal his truck.

Khill, 28, admitted he shot Styres, but pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, saying he fired in self-defence when he thought Styres was pointing a gun at him.

Styres died from two close-range shotgun blasts in the driveway of Khill’s home near Hamilton Ont., on Feb. 4, 2016.

The trial heard that Styres, a 29-year-old father of two from Ohsweken, on the Six Nations reserve, did not have a gun at the time of the shooting.

According to the Globe and Mail, Khill sighed with relief as the verdict was read out Wednesday morning after less than a day of deliberations.

Across the courtroom, family and friends of the victim, shook their heads. Lindsay Hill, the mother of his children, wearing a Justice For Jon t-shirt, collapsed in tears and had to be carried out of the courtroom. Others cursed openly.

The London Press reports, Khill is a former reservist in the Canadian army. He served four years part-time in a stint that ended in 2011.

At trial the Crown argued that Styres did not pose a reasonable threat to Khill and his girlfriend while they were inside their locked home, and that Khill should have called 911 and waited for police rather than run out of the house with a loaded shotgun.

Peter Khill, charged with second-degree murder, leaves court in Hamilton, June 12, 2018

Khill told a 911 operator that night that Styres had turned toward him with his hands sweeping up to “gun-height.”

But experts testified that the angle of the shots showed it was their opinion Styres was facing into the truck when he was hit in the chest and shoulder.

According to The Canadian Press, after the verdict, defence lawyer Jeffrey Manishen told reporters he thought Khill’s military service was a central point of the trial, and was significant to determining whether Khill had acted reasonably to defend himself under the circumstances.

Manishen told the jury that race played no part in this case, as Khill could not possibly have known Styres was Indigenous given how dark it was at the time of the shooting and how quickly events unfolded.

He also noted after the verdict that potential jurors had been asked if they could be impartial given Khill and Styres’ races — a measure he said put him at ease about the issue of bias.

The Six Nations Elected Council released a statement Wednesday, expressing “shock and disappointment” at the not guilty verdict.

The council also called on the Ministry of the Attorney General to appeal the verdict.

Styres family said they would not comment or answer questions about the trial or its outcome.

The case garnered attention for similarities to a Saskatchewan case, in which white farmer Gerald Stanley was acquitted in February in the shooting death of Colten Boushie, from the Red Pheasant First Nation.

First Nations set up more Tipis at protest camp near Sask. Legislature

More tipis erected on Saskatchewan Legislature grounds. Photo 620 CKRM

More tipis are set up at the protest camp in front of the Saskatchewan Legislature.

There are now six tipis standing in Wascana Park.

CTV Regina reports, there were three tipis added over the weekend. They represent File Hills Tribal Council, Piapot First Nation and Pasqua/White Bear First Nation.

A fourth was sent by Peepeekisis Cree Nation early Monday afternoon; a fifth was added later in the day.

The original tipi at the Justice for our Stolen Children camp was dismantled last week after police arrested some of the protesters. Three days later the tipi was re-erected on National Indigenous Peoples Day.

RELATED:

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said on Friday that it will stand with the protesters.

The camp is expecting more tipis to arrive in the coming days.

Government officials have said they will meet with the group and wonder how it will affect Canada Day festivities in the park.

Justice Minister Don Morgan said that the camp is still illegal, and that he expects the Regina Police Service to enforce the law.

According to CBC News, police did not say if there was a plan for the camp to be taken down again but said they were participating in dialogue with all parties.

FirstNationstipisctv

First Nations add tipis to protest camp.

The camp was set up in February after the acquittals of Gerald Stanley in the fatal shooting of Colten Boushie and Raymond Cormier in the death of Tina Fontaine.

Estimated 230,000 gallons of crude oil spills into Iowa river after Train derailment 

Tanker cars carrying Alberta crude oil are shown derailed in Lyon County, Iowa, Friday. (Photo Sioux City Journal via AP)

Train carrying tanker cars of tar sands oil from Alberta to Oklahoma derails along flooded Iowa river

A train derailment has spilled an estimated 230,000 gallons of Alberta crude oil into the floodwaters of the Rock River, in Iowa, resulting in a disaster declaration from the governor and a massive clean-up operation.

The train derailed around 4:30am Friday, near Doon, in Lyon County. There were no injuries.

Oil spilled into the river after 32 tanker cars derailed. The train’s operator BNSF said 14 of the derailed cars had leaked oil, according to Lyon County Daily News.

The derailment forced evacuations of nearby homes and raised concerns about drinking water contamination. Rock Valley, a small city just to the southwest of Doon shut off all its drinking water wells.

Crews spent Saturday containing the spill and building a temporary road to move equipment to the crash site to make it easier to remove the piled-up train cars and advance the cleanup, the Sioux City Journal reported.

Crews work to clean up the BNSF railway after a 32-car derailment along banks of the Rock River south of Doon, Iowa.

BNSF spokesman Andy Williams said the cleanup and recovery were still in the early stages.

A disaster proclamation issued by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds for Lyon and three other counties in response to the train derailment placed the blame on rain-fueled flooding.

The nearby Little Rock River rose rapidly after heavy rain Wednesday and Thursday. The Little Rock River flows into the Rock River which caused overflow on its banks along the route of the train tracks.

Some officials have speculated that floodwaters eroded soil beneath the train track. The cause has not been confirmed.

According to The Associated Press, the train was carrying tar sands oil from Alberta, to Stroud, Oklahoma, for ConocoPhillips. ConocoPhillips spokesman Daren Beaudo said each tanker can hold more than 25,000 gallons (20,817 imperial gallons) of oil.

CTV News is reporting almost half of the oil spill – an estimated 100,000 gallons (378,530 liters) – has been contained at the site using booms close to the derailment site. An additional boom has been placed about five miles (8.05 kilometers) downstream.

BNSF did not respond to questions on Sunday about the progress of the cleanup.

The Sioux County Sheriff posted a video depicting the aftermath of the derailment near Doon on Facebook:

Sask. justice minister says he expects law to be enforced, legislature teepee to come down

The teepee went back up before 7 p.m. CST on Thursday, which was National Indigenous Peoples Day. (Janani Whitfield/CBC)

Don Morgan says Justice for Our Stolen Children camp cannot continue at legislature grounds

One day after a teepee in front of the Saskatchewan Legislature was re-erected, Justice Minister Don Morgan said he expected police to enforce the rule of law, and that the grounds are not intended for overnight camping.

“The facilities just aren’t there for that. We expect that the police would take steps to resolve that and they have,” he said of the police response on June 18, when the teepee was taken down and six people were arrested for obstruction.

The Justice for our Stolen Children Camp was spurred by the acquittals of Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier in the Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine murder trials, respectively.

Three Regina Police Service officers carry a protester to a police vehicle on June 18. (CBC)

Founders of the camp said the intention was to draw attention to Indigenous lives lost or affected by factors like violence, foster care or addictions.

On Thursday — National Indigenous Peoples Day — the camp was re-erected and it remained standing at the site into Friday.

Morgan said he wouldn’t comment on police operations or why they had not dismantled the camp again.

“I would have thought it would have been dealt with now but they’ve indicated it may not be for a short period of time, and we leave it to them to make those calls.”

Police have said they have not taken any enforcement action yet, but are having discussions with all involved parties.

On National Indigenous Peoples Day, protesters held signs showing pictures of police arriving to dismantle the Justice for Our Stolen Children teepee at the Saskatchewan Legislature grounds. (Eagle from Sakimay First Nation/Justice for Our Stolen Children)

Camp organizers have requested meetings with government officials at the site and in the teepee, but Morgan said it wouldn’t be the appropriate site to discuss matters like specific cases of child welfare, even as he committed to having a dialogue with camp organizers.

The legislature and the teepee

Supporters of the camp gathered outside the legislature, with more than one calling attention to the contrasting sights of the legislature and the teepee.

“I don’t really see why it’s such a big issue to this government and to this authority that this teepee is here,” said Chief Nathan Pasap of White Bear First Nations.

“You have a huge building right there behind you, folks — the Saskatchewan Legislature.”

Chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Bobby Cameron attended the Justice for Our Stolen Children Camp Friday, calling the teepee our house,’ while the government has its own house in the legislature. (CBC News)

The justice reform camp organizers are calling for is sorely needed in the aftermath of the Boushie and Fontaine cases, he said.

“It’s sad that such a simple thing, a call out for help, such as a teepee and someone camping in it, is such a wrong in a country as great as Canada, as resource rich as Canada is.”

FSIN talks meeting with Moe

Bobby Cameron, chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, was also at the camp, adding his voice in support of First Nations children and calling for them to be able to access good education, care and housing.

“As First Nations people, we will go the distance politically and legally to ensure our First Nations children are protected and that they have the best opportunities in life to succeed,” he said.

Cameron noted he and the government have been in contact, and he hoped to arrange a meeting between government officials, including Premier Scott Moe and Morgan, and camp organizers.

Camp not appropriate, says Morgan

Morgan said he would like to narrow down what protesters are asking for and what actions were within a provincial, rather than federal, scope.

When asked if there was a way for both the protesters and the government to find a mutually agreeable compromise, Morgan suggested that a sign or a protest that took place on the sidewalk would be ways for people to exercise their rights in a free and open democracy.

“A camp that doesn’t comply is something that just doesn’t work.”

CBC News · Posted: Jun 22, 2018

[SOURCE]

Tipi back up at Sask Legislature days after government officials, police dismantled it

The tipi is put back in front of the Sask. legislature. Image: Creeson Agecoutay, CTV Regina

Tipi re-erected after National Indigenous Peoples Day event

Three days after police and government officials ordered the removal of the Justice for Our Stolen Children camp, the tipi is back up.

The camp was set up in February in front of the Saskatchewan Legislature after the acquittals of Gerald Stanley in the fatal shooting of Colten Boushie and Raymond Cormier in the death of Tina Fontaine.

Protesters camped in front of the legislature for 111 days.

RELATED:

After being served an eviction notice earlier this month, six people from the camp were arrested by Regina police on Monday and then released without charges after a tipi was removed from the site.

On Monday, police arrested six people from the teepee near the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina.

On Monday, police arrested six people from the teepee near the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina.

The government said the removal of the protesters came down to safety concerns in Wascana Park.

The tipi was re-erected on Thursday evening following an event marking National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Police had heard about the tipi going back up and came by to observe what was happening but did not take any enforcement action.

FSIN outraged by Sask government, police handling of protest camp outside legislature

On Monday, police arrested six people from the teepee near the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina.

On Monday, police arrested six people from the teepee near the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) says it is outraged by how the Saskatchewan government and police handled protests outside the provincial legislature.

Six people from the Justice for our Stolen Children camp were arrested on Monday as a teepee was removed from the site.

The camp was set up at the end of February shortly after the acquittals of Gerald Stanley in the fatal shooting of Colten Boushie and Raymond Cormier in the death of Manitoba teen Tina Fontaine. Both victims were Indigenous.

It protested racial injustice and the disproportionate number of Indigenous children in government care.

“The current child-welfare system is failing and contributing to many of the social problems our children are forced to endure,” FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said in a statement Tuesday.

“We call for respect and peace to rectify the provincial child-welfare system that is failing.”

Cameron said Indigenous communities know what’s best for their children and how to help them succeed in life.

The province had served notice that the camp would be shut down. Authorities evicted most people on Friday and those remaining were supposed to leave the site by noon Sunday.

Justice Minister Don Morgan said he didn’t want the removal of the camp to be a setback in the government’s relationship with First Nations.

Boushie’s mother, Debbie Baptiste, said the fight continues.

“We’re going to keep setting up our camps. We’re going to keep lighting our fires. We will not stop,” Baptiste said Monday.

“I’m not going to stop until change is made in the courtrooms, in the government.”

The Canadian Press

[SOURCE]

RCMP charge man in connection with hit and run death of Brady Francis

Brady Francis, of Elsipogtog First Nation, is shown in this undated handout image. CP/Garnett Augustine

A 56-year-old man is facing charges in connection with the hit-and-run death of Brady Francis from Elsipogtog First Nation.

According to media reports Maurice Johnson of Saint-Charles, N.B., has been charged with failing to stop at the scene of an accident involving bodily harm or death.

Francis a well-liked 22-year-old was hit by a pickup truck on Feb. 24 as he departed a party in Saint-Charles, N.B., a predominantly francophone town about 12 kilometres south of the Elsipogtog reserve.

RCMP say it’s believed the Mi’kmaq youth was waiting for a drive home when he was struck.

Johnson is scheduled to appear in Moncton Provincial Court on July 10, 2018 to enter a plea.

Following Francis’s death, rallies and vigils were organized across the province, and people pleaded for the driver who hit Brady to come forward and confess.

Social media posts were circulating following the incident with pictures of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine and Francis side by side, and many were tweeting #justiceforbrady, echoing hashtags used after the recent Prairie verdicts.

Earlier this year, RCMP completed an investigation into the hit-and-run and handed the file over to Crown prosecutors to review possible charges.

This is the first charge laid in the case — four months after Francis was struck.

The news was welcomed with relief in the community.

“We’re extremely happy,” said Ruth Levi, a band councillor and director of social services at the Elsipogtog reserve.

Police say Johnson is the same person that was arrested and released without charges back in March. It was also his truck that was seized as part of the RCMP investigation.

Protesters arrested, Tipi camp dismantled after more than 100 days in Wascana Park

Tipi camp dismantled after more than 100 days in Wascana Park

Several people arrested by Regina police on Monday at the “Justice for our Stolen Children” camp have been released without charges.

The move came as authorities dismantled the tipi in the park on Monday evening.

The camp’s sacred fire went out just after 7 p.m. Officials then took down the camp’s tipi, which was the last structure at the protest.

The rest of the camp was dismantled by police and government officials on Friday morning. Police said they would give campers 48 hours after the dismantling of the camp to extinguish their sacred fire and remove their tipi, but demonstrators decided on Sunday not to leave the scene.

“The agreement was made that the tipi would come down, and that was agreed upon by the campers, and today unfortunately that camp wasn’t taken down, so we’re here to assist with that.” Supt. Darcy Koch told the media.

The camp was erected 111 days ago in response to the acquittal of Gerald Stanley in the death of Colten Boushie, and the acquittal of Raymond Cormier in the death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine.

Members of the camp have said that they want to talk to government officials about their concerns. So far the two groups have not been able to come together for such a meeting.

Minister of Justice Don Morgan said the government expected the tipi to be removed on Sunday and that the park isn’t intended for overnight camping. Morgan said he wasn’t able to comment on the timing of the arrests, since it would be up to police to take those actions.

Morgan added that he didn’t want it to be a setback in the government’s relationship with First Nations in Saskatchewan. He said he will be reaching out to FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron in the coming days, and has plans to travel to Red Pheasant First Nation.

According to Morgan, the government is still willing to meet with protestors about the issues raised at the camp.

“You don’t need to have a tent up in Wascana to have a meeting and reach out to government,” Morgan said.

Morgan said he wants to reach out to the campers in the coming days, but will wait until emotions aren’t as high.

CTV Regina

[SOURCE]