The First Nations LNG Alliance cheered today the announcement that the Coastal GasLink Pipeline has signed community and project agreements with all 20 First Nations councils along its proposed pipeline route in BC.
“This is great news for the Nations,” said Karen Ogen-Toews, CEO of the First Nations LNG Alliance. “When the pipeline goes through, it will mean employment and career opportunities for Indigenous people, and long-term revenue for their communities and councils.”
The 670-km pipeline will carry natural gas from the Dawson Creek area to the proposed LNG Canada plant and export terminal at Kitimat. TransCanada Corporation has already conditionally awarded contracts to construct the proposed pipeline. It now awaits a Final Investment Decision from the joint-venture partners in the $40-billion LNG Canada project.
Ogen-Toews is a former elected chief of one of the 20 Nations involved, the Wet’suwet’en.
“Today’s announcement by TransCanada and Coastal GasLink means opportunities and working partnerships for the Nations,” she said. “It means long-term benefits.
“For members of the 20 Nations, it means opportunities for long-lasting careers, not just short-term jobs. For the communities and councils, it means a stable and long-term source of revenues that will help them work on closing the social-economic gap that keeps Indigenous people so far behind others in Canada.
“We are seeing real opportunity here, and real support for the 20 Nations.”
Ogen-Toews noted that Coastal GasLink has already awarded some $620 million in conditional contracts for First Nations businesses along the pipeline route, and that the project would mean a further $400 million in contracts for Indigenous and local BC communities.
“Today’s announcement by TransCanada and Coast GasLink shows how Indigenous people and councils and companies are fully ready to work with firms that respect and accommodate Indigenous needs and governance, and work with First Nations to deal with potential environmental issues.
“There is strong support from First Nations in BC for responsible LNG development, and for the natural-gas projects and pipelines that will supply the export plants.
“The announcement proves that projects can get approved in Canada, if proper consultation takes place with First Nations, by both government and industry. All parties are to be commended for their hard work, demonstrated by the number of agreements the provincial government and TransCanada entered into for this project.”
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.
- As a result of our release, Karen was quoted in the Surrey Now-Leader, the Alaska Highway News, the Victoria News, the Terrace Standard, and the 100 Mile Free Press. She also was interviewed by CFTK-TV, Terrace. As well, Alliance board member Crystal Smith, the Haisla Nation’s chief councillor, was quoted in The Vancouver Sun and The Province.
- News release from the BC LNG Alliance
(This news release from the Alliance was sent to news media and posted here on 13 September 2018)