Imagine if a company, let’s say a casino company, offered money to a council member or three in a recalcitrant Municipality in exchange for support for its casino project. We’d call it bribery, and criminal proceedings would almost certainly take place. Now tell me how this is different:
The Council of the Haida Nation published on Facebook a letter alleging that Enbridge has offered monetary rewards to individual hereditary chiefs in exchange for support for the Northern Gateway Project . Here is an excerpt from the letter:
“Enbridge has attempted to elicit written support from Haida Hereditary Chiefs through two Term Sheets. Under the Term Sheets, Hereditary Chiefs were offered monetary rewards in exchange for written support for the Project (Northern Gateway Pipeline – ed.) which was intended for public distribution.”
The full Facebook link is here : https://t.co/ixTCQtk5fm
Given that the Haida Nation is represented by its full council, and rewards have allegedly been offered to individual members of that Council, (quote, “the CHN incorporates the band councils and the Hereditary Chiefs”) , tell me how this doesn’t constitute bribery?
Update October 24 2016: It’s now been clarified through continued examination by Discourse Media that the money flowing through Enbridge to the councillors went to a Trust Fund for the councillors to use for cultural activities. Questions about secrecy and accountability remain. Two of the Hereditary Chiefs who signed these term sheets have been stripped of their status. This has not happened in Haida Gwaii in hundreds of years and happened only once in BC in the last century.