DFN Press, 2003, 10, 28

Dear Minister Nault:

Re: Environmental Assessment of Proposed Valley Pipeline

I am writing on behalf of the Deh Cho First Nations Leadership to propose that you and I meet as soon as possible to begin discussions on resolving issues related to the exclusion of the Deh Cho First Nations from the Cooperation Plan for the approval of the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline. I am also writing to express our shock and disappointment with your response to the recent news that Mr. Paul Bernier, Vice-President of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, is the husband of Maureen Bernier, the holder of mineral claims staked in the Deh Cho territory in 1998. As we now also know, those mineral claims correspond with the route of the proposed Mackenzie Valley pipeline, and Mr. Bernier led the CEAA in negotiating the Cooperation Plan for streamlining approval of the pipeline. The Deh Cho First Nations were excluded from those negotiations between November, 2000 and August, 2001.