Alliance echoes support for LNG

The First Nations LNG Alliance joins 14 BC mayors in supporting LNG development, and expressing concern about a jurisdictional challenge affecting TransCanada’s $4.7-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline.

“The implications and timing of the challenge are really unfortunate,” said Karen Ogen-Toews, CEO of the Alliance. “The joint-venture partners in the $40-billion LNG Canada project are soon to make a Final Investment Decision. A challenge to the pipeline that would supply the project with natural gas is clearly of great concern.

“The 20 First Nations along the pipeline route have all approved the pipeline, and have agreements with Coastal GasLink. These are vital to the economic and social and employment future of these communities and their people. The jurisdictional challenge could mean further and unnecessary delay. These projects need to go ahead.”

At issue is whether the Coastal GasLink pipeline should have faced a federal environmental review instead of only a provincial one that approved the line. Smithers resident Michael Sawyer has asked the National Energy Board to consider whether the pipeline falls under federal jurisdiction.

Karen Ogen-Toews: “We support responsible development of LNG. We support the position of the 14 mayors. They come from across northern BC, and see the pipeline bringing tremendous benefits to communities, First Nations, the region, the province, and Canada as a whole.

“We strongly support what the mayors said, and these were their words:

“‘If the LNG Canada project moves forward, it will create thousands of person-years of work for all walks of people across the North, B.C., Canada, and beyond. The development of this project would create billions of dollars in taxes for all levels of government; which will support programs that are important to all of us, such as education, healthcare, infrastructure, and funding for environmental sustainability initiatives.’”

Ogen-Toews added:

“Not only do we agree with the mayors on the economic importance of this project but also recognize the consent provided by 20 First Nations who were each consulted on the environmental impacts of the project and have provided consent for it to proceed.  This achievement is no accident.”

The mayors’ open letter: