First Nations LNG Alliance Newsletter 10 – Steps forward for LNG in BC

Since our last newsletter, there was a flurry of news on LNG in BC:

  • LNG Canada told media that it is working on material to go before the partners in the process leading up to the Final Investment Decision;
  • Shell Canada disclosed that, in advance of the FID on LNG Canada, the joint-venture partners will name their prime contractor in April;
  • Chief Councillor Crystal Smith of the Haisla Nation told Green Party leader Andrew Weaver why the Haisla support LNG development;
  • And our Karen Ogen-Toews had a meeting and some “good debate” with a Green Party MLA in Victoria.

Karen’s meeting was with Green MLA Adam Olsen (Saanich North and the Islands). She had asked for a meeting with Weaver, but his office sent her on to Olsen, the Greens’ legislature critic on LNG.

Karen reminded Olsen that responsible LNG development can balance the environment and the economy — and mean economic advancement and security for First Nations. (Olsen is himself a member of the Tsartlip Nation.)

LNG Canada in the news

The flood of news about LNG Canada began on March 14 with a tweet from Business in Vancouver: “Andy Calitz, CEO for LNG Canada, tells #GLOBEforum plan is to start construction on Kitimat project 2018, FID documents being prepared.”

LNG Canada itself then issued a statement on Facebook that didn’t go quite that far: “At the Globe conference taking place in Vancouver this week, LNG Canada CEO Andy Calitz spoke on a panel and confirmed the LNG Canada team is working to have materials ready in mid-2018 to provide to the project’s Joint Venture Participants for a final investment decision. If that decision is a positive one, construction would begin right after. The final investment decision, however, and the date that it will be made, will be up to LNG Canada’s joint venture participants to make.

Business in Vancouver followed that with this story: LNG Canada aims for construction start this year.

And then the Globe and Mail reported: “The head of Shell Canada Ltd. says a prime contractor will be named next month for Shell-led LNG Canada as the co-owners take steps toward deciding whether to approve a $40-billion project to export liquefied natural gas from British Columbia.”  (We can’t link here to the story as it’s behind the Globe’s paywall.) 

Haisla Nation supports LNG

Haisla Chief Councillor Crystal Smith sent an open message to Green Party leader Weaver, including points such as these:

  • “The Haisla Nation has been working closely with LNG proponents for more than a decade now, toward the purpose of seeing a project built which will bring welcome investment to communities in the north.”
  • “Whether you accept it or not, LNG is a promising industry for us and has already provided millions of dollars of benefits through their early works.”
  • “We believe in balance between the economy and the environment. Projects can be built right. A project like LNG Canada provides the right balance for us, being a potential major employer and the lowest CO2 emitting LNG facility in the world.”

Chief Crystal closed by inviting Weaver to visit the north and meet the Haisla Council.

 


 

Also in the news

  • The BC government announced an “an independent scientific review” of the impact in BC of fracking for natural gas. Michelle Mungall, minister of energy, mines and petroleum resources, gave an assurance that the review panel will collect “traditional Indigenous knowledge from First Nations” as well as scientific information.
  • Former Terasen Gas CEO Randy Jespersen was named executive chairman, pipeline, of Steelhead LNG. He said he was ‘very impressed’ by Steelhead’s approach (with Huu-ay-aht First Nations) on the Kwispaa LNG project near Port Alberni.