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Canada to oppose Alaska oil drilling on caribou habitat: minister

Porcupine herd is considered crucial to the physical and cultural health of Indigenous people.


WHITEHORSE — A Yukon cabinet minister says three Canadian governments will oppose the latest attempt to open the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

Environment Minister Pauline Frost says her territory, the Northwest Territories and the federal government are working on a joint submission opposing energy activity on the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd.

Frost says the governments, together with area First Nations, agreed on the strategy in a meeting several months ago.

A Northwest Territories spokesman confirmed the territorial government will be asking the United States to live up to obligations in an international treaty to protect the herd.

The US has opened a 60-day public comment period before beginning environmental hearings on the proposal.

The Porcupine herd is considered crucial to the physical and cultural health of Indigenous people in Canada’s northwest.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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