Newsletter: LNG benefits, and challenges

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LNG development in BC has brought benefits to First Nations and Indigenous people, but there have been challenges, too.
Some examples were given in an online discussion hosted by the Alliance this week.
A few condensed remarks: 

  • Clifford White, hereditary chief of the Gitxaala Nation, and a director of the Alliance:

“Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of fly-in (employment for non-Indigenous people). There a lot of our people who are still left on the periphery. I think we’ve got a long way to go yet on the contractors. This was supposed to be First Nations first; that was the agreement that we had with BC: First Nations first at the employment table and the training.
“The realities are that you see a lot of people who are imported into the process. The planes in Terrace certainly haven’t slowed down. There’s a lot of imported workers coming in, doing the jobs that our people could be doing. There are some major challenges here.”

  • Jasmine Thomas, elected councillor, Saik’uz Nation:

“In terms of procurement there are areas that could be improved upon. There’s not really enough pressure for primes (prime contractors) to hire contractors who have partnerships with First Nations communities.
“Even with partners that are working on the project, they’re having a lot of trouble getting paid in a timely fashion. When you start looking at some of those smaller contractors, who are trying to build really good relations with First Nations communities, they are at risk of potential bankruptcy due to holdbacks or delays.
“And Individuals that have the training, they’re not getting hired because they don’t have the required hours (of experience) that are requested, so they’re not getting the work. So heavy equipment operators are being put on as general labourers. That’s posing a deterrent to utilizing our workers in a meaningful way.”

  • Karen Ogen-Toews, Alliance CEO, but speaking as an elected councillor of the Wet’suwet’en Nation:

“Like Jasmine and Clifford, we’ve been really scouring the ground for procurement opportunities. Right now, forestry isn’t going as well as we’d want it to, and the same with mining. So right now, what’s on the front burner is LNG.
“I’ve heard the same concern, Jasmine, right from the get-go, that a lot of these companies weren’t getting paid right away, which can lead to bankruptcy or having to owe money, or get lines of credit. I think the company (Coastal GasLink) is aware of them.
“And there’s been an influx of Alberta contractors coming in. They’re much more familiar with pipelines than we are in BC, so it seems that their contractors are getting some of the bids along our pipeline route.
“The task forces that (Coastal GasLink) has set up along the pipeline route were able to meet with the primes and their subcontractors and deal with the issues and concerns directly, and they’re more than helpful. It’s about working with the primes and the subcontractors and getting your foot in the door.”
The three spoke at the first Diversity and Inclusion Outreach session hosted by the Alliance.

Our next outreach session will be on Thursday June 17. It’s open to all, and free. Info and registration: https://bit.ly/3wowcAT

One of the facilitators of our outreach sessions is Judy Desjarlais, Indigenous owner of Top Notch Oilfield Contractors of Fort St. John. She is featured in this video interview with Stuart McNish: http://ow.ly/iCYT50ENdf4

Take our Alliance survey

The outreach sessions above are related to an examination by the Alliance of the impact and effects of LNG and pipeline development on First Nations along the Coastal GasLink route and near the LNG Canada project at Kitimat.

It includes a survey among First Nations members. Here’s where you can take it, and enter to win a $100 gift card: https://bit.ly/3e9IUNq

LNG Canada: setting the benchmark 

“We’ve got a good story. . . .  And we’ve got a good product that we’re going to export that will make the world better.”

That was Peter Zebedee, CEO of LNG Canada, speaking to MPs on Parliament’s Standing Committee on International Trade.

Among his comments:

  • “To date, the value of our awarded contract and procurement in British Columbia, alone, is worth over $3 billion. Revenues from our project will start flowing into governments as we enter into production and we’re delivering low-carbon LNG to customers, as this will reach tens of billions of dollars over the course of our 40-year life.”
  • “We’ve designed a project that has the lowest carbon intensity of any large-scale LNG plant anywhere else in the world.  . . . It’s a full 35% lower than the world’s best-performing facilities, and 60% lower than the global weighted average for equivalent plants.”
  • “Demand is indeed growing in places like China where natural gas is expected to almost triple by the year 2040. LNG from all sources, including ours, will make up 60% of China’s demand for imported natural gas, and global LNG demand is expected to hit 700 million tons by the end of the year 2040. And according to Shell’s latest market outlook report, that’s up from 360 million tons in 2020. So it’s almost doubled.”
  • Read his presentation here
  • Watch his testimony on video at 11:17:36 at https://bit.ly/3hjoFib and again at 12:51:23.

Coming event: May 28 and June 4

Above is just one of the major panel discussions coming at the two-day Indigenous Partnership Success Showcase, hosted by Resource Works and supported by the Alliance. It will explore Indigenous success stories and partnerships.

The event runs two consecutive Fridays, May 28 and June 4, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Pacific.

Also in the news

  • Australia’s Woodside Petroleum to exit Kitimat LNG project: yhoo.it/3tWEP3G
  • First Nations Limited Partnership ‘incredibly disappointed’ by Woodside plan to quit Kitimat LNG: https://bwnews.pr/3f5Pl4z
  • The Haisla Nation seeks clarification, and reviews Kitimat LNG’s benefit obligations: http://ow.ly/KxsC50ERT6J
  • With key forest roads closed by wet conditions, Coastal GasLink uses helicopters to get to some work sites: http://ow.ly/vnuO50ERi8

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First Nations LNG Alliance Newsletter