NDP Introduces Bill Supporting First Nations’ Sovereignty

Today, Yukon NDP leader Kate White tabled a Private Member’s Bill in the Legislature to reinstate Section 13.1 of the Yukon Oil and Gas Act (YOGA).

Section 13.1 of YOGA requires the government to seek consent from Yukon First Nations without a final agreement, before issuing oil and gas dispositions in their traditional territory. 

In 2012, then Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, Brad Cathers, tabled an amendment to the Oil and Gas Act repealing Section 13, despite vehement disagreement from Yukon First Nations, the Yukon NDP and Liberal MLA Sandy Silver. 

“The Liberals preach consultation, but continually ignore consent. A recent example is Minister Streicker’s extension of Oil and Gas Exploration permits in Northern Yukon despite vocal resistance from affected Northern First Nations.” — Kate White, Leader of the Yukon NDP

In 2021 the Government of Canada officially adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which enshrines free prior and informed consent. The government of Yukon has yet to do so. 

“Reinstating Section 13.1 will open the door to more conversations about what First Nations consent really means.” — Kate White, Leader of the Yukon NDP 

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