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Canada: The Corporate Drug Dealer

The Canadian Government, the National Energy Board, and Pipeline Corporations have formed a new partnership in distributing their new drug, Bitumen. Bitumen is the tar sands oil they have gorged from the earth in Alberta, thus creating a devastation to the lands for generations to come. This bitumen is so thick it takes an array, actually 100’s, of toxic chemicals to break it down. Chemicals needed to break it down enough to flow through a pipeline. Then they want to distribute their co-dependency drug off the East, West and South coastlines of North America. The dependency to their drug will create environmental catastrophes in the ecosystems here and abroad. But that is not the concern of the National Energy Board who will be rubber stamping their application to continue forward with their Energy East Pipeline. 195 First Nations and millions of settlers across the land are fighting this drug lord along their planned route. We are opposed to peddling this poison, as well as allowing them to carry their toxic drug through our lands, under our waterways, or over our watersheds. We hear our politicians market the benefits to poverty stricken provinces, cities, towns and villages along this route. We hear of their new state of the art machinery that is supposed to secure you into forgetting the deplorable practices of these corporations. 57,000 explosions in this industry in the last 2 decades; 20 years with no criminal accountability and they continue to be allowed in their process of destruction of this planet. All that state of the art technology and science is bought and paid for by those who will personally profit. State of the Art Machinery is the pretty propaganda package that wraps the fact; 85% of all reports on spills, leaks, and explosions are reported by the general public. Those same people who have to live next to these toxic chemicals being pumped through their lands for personal profit. The New Age Drug, Tar Sands Oil But what we don’t hear is the life lost to all our relations. When we allow toxic pipelines to run through our territory First Nation people have many things to consider. A very wise elder explained at a meeting I attended, who the Maliseet Grand Council is. The Maliseet Grand Council is the Traditional Governance of the Nation. It is the voice of their family, which forms our Nation. As families we have totems and those totems have a voice. We are the voice of our families. These families consist of all who live on the land, in the water, and in the air. Our 4 legged, our swimmers and our winged relatives. We don’t hear of the life and livelihoods that will be wiped out when, not if, there is a spill or explosion. We don’t hear of the traditional medicines that will vanish or the hunting grounds that will no longer remain. Medicines and food the people still today depend on for sustainable life. What we continue to see is First Nation’s and their allies coming together, forming alliances and remaining at the forefront of water, land and air issues generation after generation. There is a new war on drugs brewing across Canada and the people are speaking against this political partnership between the oil industries that wine and dine elected officials. In consultation we will sit with the industry and their team of lawyers as we exert our rights, sovereignty and title to our traditional lands. We will sit at the consultation table as a unified Nation consulting with an industry who wants to bring their tar sands through our lands, and not as a ‘parent doing what is best for a child’ scenario. We will sit in respectful consultation; as an elder stated - if we are not at the table then we are on the menu. ~Russ Letica Madawaska Maliseet First Nation