First Nations LNG Alliance Newsletter 02

This week’s highlights:

  • Article: Gitga’at Nation Proposes Marine Emergency Response and Research Facility
  • Article: What has been said about LNG thus far in the B.C. Election campaign?
  • Headlines: Recent News

Gitga’at Nation Proposes Marine Emergency Response and Research Facility

With major LNG projects proposed in Kitimat, such as the PNW LNG project and the Kitimat LNG export facility, the Gitga’at Nation is understandably concerned about the impacts LNG carriers could have on the environment and how the Carriers will operate in the nearby waterway. While no final investment decisions have been made thus far, the Gitga’at are being proactive and taking actions to help mitigate the potential increase in vessel traffic.

Gitga’at is located at the head of Douglas Channel – a key shipping route to the Port of Kitimat. The self-reliant community maintains a stable economy built on the pillars of traditional harvesting of various country foods, commercial fishing, sustainable resource development, and ecotourism.

Recently, the Gitga’at reached an LNG Benefits Agreement with the Province that outlined (among other things) Gitga’at’s interest in locating a Marine Emergency Response and Research Facility (MERFF) in their community. The proposal is a culmination of the many years of work that the Gitga’at have undertaken in marine emergency response and marine research. Over the last decade, Gitga’at has positioned itself as a leader in these areas. The Nation has a well-trained emergency response team and actively monitors its traditional territory for environmental impacts.

The emergency response team is keen to see the new technologies in ship navigation implemented in their area. For example, the new Automatic Identification System (AIS) radar based systems allow for greater awareness of vessel traffic and the ability to act quickly if a vessel needs assistance.

Read the rest of the article on our website.

What’s being said about LNG Thus Far in the B.C. Election Campaign?

From jobs and resource development to transit and housing, candidates have been discussing important issues of all kinds leading up to B.C.’s provincial election on May 9th. With so many topics being discussed, it can be difficult to keep track of what candidates are saying about LNG in particular.

So, we’ve collected LNG-related conversations in media coverage over the past few weeks and put together a snapshot of what has been said by the various major parties (it should be noted that these are some statements we found, there may be more and there will likely be more in the coming days prior to election).

BC Liberals

While touring Kitimat, Terrace and Prince Rupert, Christy Clark made it clear that LNG development plans, despite recent delay, are not dead. She has modified her 2013 campaign promise about three LNG facilities operating by 2020 to three LNG facilities being “under construction by 2020.”

Ed Kallio, a principal of Calgary-based Eau Claire Energy Advisory Inc., says that although prices in Asia plunged by 2016, proponents behind B.C. LNG proposals are waiting to see what happens in the B.C. provincial election. He thinks Shell might still go ahead with its Kitimat project, but that companies would view an NDP government as less friendly to them.

Although the NDP has pointed out Clark’s failure to fulfill some of her LNG promises, $20 billion has been invested into the industry thus far, and Clark has stated:

“By creating thousands of jobs in communities like Kitimat, and helping the world transition away from fuel sources like coal, B.C.’s growing LNG industry has a big role to play in our province, our country, and the world.” 

Liberal Skeena candidate Ellis Ross, former elected chief councillor of the Haisla First Nation, is also very much in support of LNG development.

As far as concrete progress on LNG goes, here is what the Liberals say they have achieved:

  • One LNG plant operating and undergoing a $400 million expansion,
  • One LNG plant in construction,
  • Conditional final investment on Pacific NorthWest LNG,
  • 18 issued LNG export permits,
  • 63 natural gas Pipeline Benefit Agreements with First Nations (representing 90% of First Nations along LNG pipeline routes),
  • Three new BC Ferries that can run on natural gas,
  • Two new LNG-powered cargo ferries for Seaspan.

BC NDP

NDP leader John Horgan is promising to safely develop natural gas under the following four conditions:

  1. Projects must offer jobs and training for British Columbians, especially jobs for local people.
  2. The people of BC must get a fair return for our resources.
  3. Projects must secure full partnerships with local First Nations.
  4. Projects must complete a made-in-BC environmental assessment and respect our commitments to combating climate change.

Horgan has expressed support for LNG development in principle, wants to lower carbon emissions and says he may not be rejecting Pacific Northwest LNG after all, as his environmental concerns around it could be addressed by attaching certain conditions to the project.

While NDP support for LNG has been publicly questioned, Skeena NDP candidate, Bruce Bidgood has emphatically stated the contrary:

John Horgan and the NDP support LNG development in the northwest. I’ve gone out publicly and said over and over again, I support LNG Canada and Kitimat LNG.”

Green Party

Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist who has not discussed LNG very much thus far, says:

“I have no intention of building a platform in the next election that has any correlation whatsoever to a process that will alienate workers or alienate resources.”

Though he does not lay out an official stance on LNG, it can be deduced from his following statement that Weaver is disappointed by one specific LNG move recently made by the province:

“It is sadly ironic that as our forests burn, snowpack melts and frequency of severe summer droughts increase, the government is forcing through its generational sellout embodied in the 25-year LNG agreement with Petronas.”
Whatever the outcome of the election, it’s important that the discussion surrounding LNG takes place at the political level. These candidates will have a powerful impact on the direction of the LNG industry in B.C., and certainly on the outlook of LNG proponents involved in final investment decisions.

Recent news