Citizens Counter-Conference on Energy and Northern Development

Publisher:  VAnguard Magazine, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1976
Pages:  6pp   Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX201

Report on the proceedings of the '76 "Citizens Counter-Conference".

This report covers the proceedings of the Nov. 76 "Citizens Counter-Conference on Energy and Northern Development". The Edmonton was the first major project of the Alberta Energy Coalition, a loose coalition of native political, labor and public interest groups. It was organized after the Berger Commission hearings to challenge energy policies that ignore social and environmental costs of resource development. The conference was held at the same as the "Seventh National Conference on Northern Development" sponsored by government and industry to promote a national energy policy characterized by conservation rather than consumption and one which respects Native People, the environment and social needs of Canadians while allowing for public participation in decision-making. The counter-conference passed major resolutions supporting a ten year moratorium on all northern energy development and government recognition of native rights as outlined in the Dene Declaration. Many in the large audiences and even the media covering the conference recognized the need for public involvement in the political decisions on energy development. Because the counter-conference stated that many are not in agreement with the oil industry's analysis of public need and desire, Warren Allmand, the Federal Minister for Northern Affairs has asked to meet with conference organizers. Delegates also expressed interest in exploring conservation and alternative energy use, in fostering government policies to promote conservation and in setting up public education programs. Also enclosed is a list and description of various workshops held at the conference.

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