First Nations LNG Alliance Newsletter 12 – Meeting the BC government

The Alliance is working towards a meeting in Victoria with the government NDP caucus, with the participation of some First Nations leaders.

The aim is to underline for the NDP cabinet ministers and MLAs that many First Nations in BC do support LNG development and associated natural-gas pipelines.

We hope then to host a news conference there, to drive home to reporters and columnists that First Nations are not automatically opposed to responsible development, no matter what some green zealots say.

Indeed, a long list of First Nations already have benefit and other agreements in the LNG and natural-gas sector, with proponents and with government. Yet that point seems not to have got to everybody in Victoria.

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver is one who seems to have missed it—and several other points about LNG.

We posted a blog about this on our website (‘What? No market for LNG?’), and it earned wide exposure and strong interest when we broadcast it on social media.

Long before that, we sought to meet Mr. Weaver in Victoria. He declined. But we will continue to seek a meeting.

At the same time, we remind Mr. Weaver of an open letter to him from Haisla Chief Councillor Crystal Smith.

And of messages on LNG and First Nations from Ellis Ross, Liberal MLA and former chief councillor of the Haisla, and Kitselas Chief Councillor Joe Bevan.

Ellis Ross’s complaint about eco-activists blocking development that could benefit First Nations has been echoed by Chief Ernie Crey of the Cheam First Nation in the Fraser Valley. Although Chief Ernie is focused on the Trans Mountain oil pipeline, he protests how environmentalists ‘red-wash’ their fight against development. Our Alliance and our chair, Chief Dan George, are mentioned in this story about Chief Crey’s position.

And here’s a new five-minute video of Indigenous leaders talking about environmental groups who do nothing to benefit First Nations, or simply shut down a project and take off.

(At this point, incidentally, 43 First Nations have negotiated benefits agreements with the Trans Mountain project, 33 of them in BC.)

Nations who support LNG

We’re posting on our website a series of stories about First Nations in BC who support LNG development and the opportunity it means for training, education, jobs, careers, and revenue.

The first article now is on our website with this headline:

For the Haisla, LNG is spelled HOPE.

There will be more to come (although some First Nations who favour LNG and gas development prefer to avoid headlines.)

Also in the news

  • Our CEO, Karen Ogen-Toews, was quoted in a Business in Vancouver story on the benefits of LNG and gas pipelines:

‘We’re able to build more houses. We’re able to increase the quality of life in terms of education and training. We’re able to look after the health and wellness of our community.’

That story was picked up by some other media outlets, including the Dawson Creek Mirror, and Petroleum News, and was mentioned in a column in the Edmonton Journal.

Also popular on our social media

  • ‘There is generally strong support for an LNG industry among B.C. First Nations, and some take exception to the anti-fossil fuel coalition . . . opposing a $40 billion project like LNG Canada.’
  • Video: What does meaningful consultation with First Nations look like, for industry and government?
  • There’s one more hurdle for Ottawa to remove, to give LNG in BC a way to move forward
  • Video: Just one big LNG plant in BC could reduce global GHG emissions by 60 million tonnes—that’s like taking 8 million cars off the roads.

Coming up

Several leaders from our Alliance will be speaking at the Canada Gas & LNG Exhibition & Conference in Vancouver May 14-16.

Keynote speakers on Tuesday May 15 include Alliance board members Robert J. Dennis Sr., chief councillor, Huu-ay-aht First Nations; Crystal Smith, chief councillor, Haisla First Nation; and our board chair, Dan George, chief councillor, Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation (Burns Lake Band). Along with former board member Joe Bevan, chief councillor of the Kitselas Nation.

Chief Robert and our CEO, Karen Ogen-Toews, will speak at a panel discussion later on the 15th, on First Nations and Industry Working Hand in Hand. And Chief Robert will also take part in a wrap-up discussion on things learned at the conference that day.

Conference info and registration