Pipeline pacts for First Nations ‘terrific’

The First Nations LNG Alliance hailed today the announcement by Coastal GasLink Pipeline of the conditional award of $620 million in contract work to First Nations businesses along Coastal GasLink’s natural-gas pipeline route in BC.

“This is terrific news,” said Karen Ogen-Toews, CEO of the First Nations LNG Alliance. “When there is a Final Investment Decision, it will mean employment for First Nations. It will mean a chance to work towards careers, and not just short-term jobs, which is really important to us.

“It means revenue, and that means opportunity to work on closing the social-economic gap that keeps Indigenous people so far behind.”

The contract awards — plus a further $400 million in contracts for Indigenous and local BC communities — are conditional on a Final Investment Decision from the joint-venture partners in the $40-billion LNG Canada project in Kitimat.

Through Coastal GasLink, TransCanada Corporation plans a 670-km pipeline to carry natural gas from the Dawson Creek area to the proposed LNG Canada plant and export terminal at Kitimat. TransCanada has already conditionally awarded contracts to construct the proposed pipeline.

The new conditional awards from Coastal GasLink cover the pipeline’s right-of-way clearing, gravel processing, access road development, camp and storage site preparation, camp support services, materials hauling, right-of-way grading, welding, installation, site clean-up, reclamation and other activities.

Karen Ogen-Toews: “This amount of contracting work awarded to First Nations businesses and communities is unprecedented in British Columbia for a pipeline company.

“And it tells an important story — that there is strong First Nations support in BC for responsible LNG development, and for the natural-gas projects and pipelines that will feed the export plants.”

Ogen-Toews added: “The awards also show how Indigenous people and companies are eager to do business with firms that respect and accommodate Indigenous needs and governance, and work with First Nations to deal with potential environmental issues.

“On all of these points, we note that Coastal GasLink has negotiated and signed project agreements with 95 per cent of Indigenous communities along the route. Those mean a sustainable revenue source for First Nations through the life of the project.”

And more than one-third of all field work already completed by Coastal GasLink has been conducted by Indigenous people.

The First Nations LNG Alliance headed by Ogen-Toews is a collective of First Nations who are participating in, and supportive of, sustainable and responsible LNG development in BC.

Karen’s quotes in the news release above were used in Business in Vancouver, the Times Colonist newspaper in Victoria, the Alaska Highway NewsCFTK-TV in Terrace, Houston Today, and MyBulkleyLakesNow in Smithers. The Times Colonist column also ran in the Prince George Citizen. 

(Posted here 26 June 2018)