February 10, 2016 2:24 pm

Federal delay on reform led to $3B aboriginal oil lawsuit, say leaders

The chiefs of Onion Lake Cree Nation and Poundmaker Cree Nation say the Government of Canada owes $3 billion in oil and gas revenue.

File / Global News

Aboriginal leaders say federal foot-dragging on reform of an agency that looks after oil and gas on reserve lands is at least partly behind a $3-billion lawsuit filed against Ottawa this week.

Legislation to modernize Indian Oil and Gas Canada passed in 2009 but hasn’t come into effect.

READ MORE: $3B lawsuit begun over aboriginal oil

Rules to bring the regulatory agency up to date are still being negotiated nearly seven years later.

Stephen Buffalo of the Indian Resource Council says the draft rules would answer many of the concerns in the lawsuit filed by two bands from Alberta and Saskatchewan.

He blames the previous Conservative government for a go-slow approach.

He says that has added to the frustrations that led to Monday’s lawsuit, which other bands are likely to join.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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