Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

MCA April Monthly Meeting

Natural Gas Pipeline and Tobacco Regulation and Revenue Project Discussed

 


MCA General Meeting was held in the district of Tsi Snaihne on Thursday, April 26 and was called to order 6:09pm.

After a moment of silence for all the community members we lost within the month, the meeting began.

Presentation - Entewatathá:wi

Peter Garrow, Program Manager shared highlights of their meeting on April 10, 2018 with Minister Bennett on the Rights Framework with Indigenous People. On April 18 and 19, they met with the Collaborative Fiscal Policy Development Committee. Garrow present to the Ottawa University’s Public Sector Leadership and Governance program on April 20. Erin Cole, Policy Analyst (Communications) shared information on the new Evolution booklet

Presentation - Tobacco Pilot Project.

It was stated this project is about Ontario Government recognizing the Tobacco Law, and not about not about the $7 million and ‘Akwesasne will not be a tax collector’. It has taken years to develop the Tobacco Law. The AIP was signed on December 20, 2017

This project started in 2012 with Quebec. Quebec held their elections and the party at the time was voted out. The new party wasn’t interested in negotiating with MCA on a tobacco law. This model is based on a model they use in the state of Washington. Carton of cigarettes will go from $5 - $25. MCA registered vendors will be refunded $20. According to Tobacco Pilot Project, the net result price would stay the same and not impact Vendors.

It was also noted, MCA will open store on Hamilton Island and it will be ran by a corporation or another entity of MCA, or Akwesasne community member. MCA will lease building to community members. Council will continue to have discussion on the AIP.

Hardcopies of the Tobacco Regulation and Revenue Agreement are available at Iohahi:io, MCA Justice Building, and CIA #3.

Questions from community members included;

Q - What happens if this is rejected by the community?

A - It could be looked at to see if the votes are close and it could possibly be revisited later.

Q - Why are we not using our own cigarettes?

A - There’s no licensed manufacturers in our 3 districts and its required in the Agreement to have licensed manufacturers in the 3 districts. Importing in to Canada is not provincial but federal jurisdiction.

Update - Dundee Land Claims and Seaway Claims were reviewed.

Update - Cannabis Survey

588 surveys were done; 84 in Kana:takon, 166 in Kawehno:ke, 194 in Tsi Snaihne and 144 outside of 3 districts.

Update - Roads and Upcoming Construction

The Conservative Government in Quebec never opened any doors for construction and if they get voted back in, they won’t give us much to work with. For the first time since 1973, roads are being repaved, they include: $1.6 million to redo Wade LaFrance Memorial Rd to Chapman Rd and Sugar Bush. Construction should begin in three weeks.

Question from a community member;

Q - Do we have a list for Roads in Kanatakon to be redone?

A - Park St. and Hilltop Drive

Q - Where does Kawehnoke stand when it comes to their dirt roads? Main roads are in bad shape and should be a priority

Q - Will roads be built up to withstand the weight? Signs are up but nobody abides by them.

Q - When roads are built it should be reinforced.

Update – Proposed Natural Gas Expansion onto Kawehno:ke

The proposed Natural Gas Expansion will be brought to the community for consultation; MCA will develop a communication plan to fully inform the community about the potential project, including potential benefits and downsides. 11 First Nation communities have been targeted for new service, all part of the Natural Gas Grant Program that launched in January of 2017 and will provide approximately $100 million to support projects in northern, rural and First Nations communities. The project would involve the construction of a natural gas transfer station and distribution network to connect homes and businesses. The proposed pipeline would be a 12” natural gas steel pipeline. Kawehno:ke residents would use a 2” plastic pipe.

It would cost approximately $18.5 million to build system. The existing pipeline has been there since 1962. In 2009 the Cooperation and Land Use Agreement between the MCA and Natural Gas Transmission Limited was signed to benefit the community.

If approved, this Project has to be completed by 2022.

There are mixed feelings within the community on the gas and oil companies. This project will not go forward without the community’s approval.

Questions from community residents included:

Q - What is the cost? And where does the money go to?

A - Numbers are currently being worked out on the cost

Q - Do all three districts get to vote for this?

A - That’s up to Council to decide on the approval to open it to all three districts

Q - What about Renewable energy?

Suggestions presented by community members included - MCA could make one grid for all three districts and look into bringing in independent people to explore this.

New Business

Q - What happen to the sewage plant that was supposed to be done 3 years ago?

A - They been testing the last 3 years.

It was announced this will be the last General Meeting in Tsi Snaihne until after the June Elections.

Next General Meeting will be on Thursday May 24, 2018 at the Kawehno:ke Recreational Center

 

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