Canadian government faces call to revoke funding for giant telescope in Hawaii

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OTTAWA — The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs says Canada should bail out of a plan to build a large new telescope in Hawaii on land claimed as sacred by Indigenous Hawaiians.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Hawaii Gov. David Ige, the organization calls for construction plans for what’s known as the Thirty Meter Telescope project to be shut down and for the Canadian government to withdraw support for the project.

In April 2015, the former Conservative government announced it would provide up to $243.5 million for the project over a 10-year period.

The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs says the Canadian government’s support for the telescope runs counter to its commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

The organization’s comments come as protesters have been blocking a road to the summit of Mauna Kea, a site considered to be sacred.

On Tuesday, a judge denied a motion filed by telescope opponents seeking a temporary restraining order to stop construction.

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