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Enbridge Pipeline Proposal Heading Toward Showdown Over First Nations Rights

Dec 14, 2012
(The Canadian Press)

There have been times over the past few days at the review hearings into the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline when the testy exchanges between Enbridge experts and First Nations lawyers have bordered on verbal warfare.

And as the proposal progresses, it seems increasingly likely that the debate about the oil pipeline — an oil pipeline, any oil pipeline — will end in a showdown between the federal government and First Nations over aboriginal rights.

"I think on the First Nations side, there's no question they're marshalling resources to go to court," said Gordon Christie, director of indigenous legal studies in the University of British Columbia's faculty of law.