Newsletter: Getting set for world gas conference


Our Alliance CEO, Karen Ogen-Toews, and Indigenous entrepreneur Chris Sankey are members of the national organizing committee for International Gas Research Conference to be held in Banff AB in May 2024.

Karen: “Both Chris Sankey and I were chosen to represent the Indigenous people of Canada and assist with an engagement plan for all of the Indigenous people across Canada. It is an honour and privilege to do this.”

Sankey added from London: “What a great group of experienced personnel! We had great dialog and meetings.”

Sankey is CEO for Blackfish Enterprises and president of Blackfish Industries/Management. He’s a former elected councillor for the Lax Kw’Alaams Band in BC.

The Canadian Gas Association says of the conference: “First held in Chicago in 1980, the IGRC is a global forum bringing leading experts from around the world together. It is the signature event for the global industry to discuss research, development, and innovation.”
Joe Kang, president of the organizing International Gas Union: “In the ongoing developing of IGU’s event portfolio, we have placed greater emphasis on innovations and enhancements, and in selecting Canada, IGU has an IGRC2024 host that is one of the world’s largest producers, exporters and consumers of natural gas, and understands the importance of innovation throughout that value chain.”

The conference website:

LNG exports to Europe pushed

Debate continues hot on the potential for exports of Canadian LNG to Europe via the East Coast.

Politics came firmly into it as Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre put pressure on Prime Minister Trudeau to back new LNG projects, with European countries reaching out in a bid to plug energy shortfalls.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exposed much of the western world’s over-reliance on dictator oil and gas coming from the likes of Putin’s Russia,” Poilievre said.

“Canada can play a pivotal role by providing clean and responsibly sourced Canadian energy.”

He added: “A Poilievre government would simplify and expedite approval processes, and restore investor confidence in resource development projects.”

And Alberta’s Canadian Energy Centre insisted through its Friendly Energy arm that there is “a strong business case to connect Canadian LNG to Europe and the world.” More:

And in a speech in Calgary, federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Ottawa doesn’t oppose LNG developments. ‘There are a lot of us who believe that LNG from . . . the B.C. coast is a major opportunity.’ More:

Meanwhile, though, our Alliance noted that the U.S. now has seven active LNG-for-export plants (excluding the mothballed Kenai plant in Alaska). As well, 15 more LNG plants have been approved, and 14 more are awaiting approval. And 17 applications to export U.S. LNG are being processed. See all the numbers:

And, we also noted, total of 87 LNG cargoes departed from US ports in September, carrying 6.3 million tonnes (mt) of LNG. Almost 70% of the cargoes, or 4.37 mt, headed to Europe.

Federal emissions policy challenged

There was some serious political debate, too, as Indigenous leaders pushed back on Ottawa’s planned cap on emissions from oil and gas.

“We are finally becoming owners of projects in our own territories, yet this policy seeks to restrict that,” said Robert Merasty, executive director of the Indigenous Resource Network. “This is taking us a step backwards in reconciliation.”

Ottawa’s plan to reduce emissions from oil and gas by 42 per cent in less than eight years is expected to require cuts in production. But it would actually increase emissions globally by restricting Canadian LNG development, Merasty says.

“LNG projects currently being worked on, and spearheaded, by Indigenous communities in B.C. are critical for supplying Asian consumers with the energy needed to reduce their dependence on coal,” Merasty says in the IRN’s submission to the federal government. “Say NO to the emissions cap and support Indigenous oil and gas projects.”

The graphic quote above from Karen Ogen-Toews was used by the Canadian Energy Centre along with a story on the IRN’s concerns:

Indigenous equity in resource projects?

Robert Merasty also leads a campaign to secure support for Indigenous Peoples to invest in equity ownership of resource projects.

As he says: “Probably 99 per cent of the time, bands don’t have the necessary capital to get into those projects.”

The Indigenous Resource Network is calling for a National Indigenous Guaranteed Loan Program to help Nations raise the capital necessary to invest in projects taking place on their land.

More on this in our latest blog:



  •  Bunk #7 comes to Kitimat Oct. 22. Sponsored by LNG Canada, the play shares the true story of six boys and a riot at Edmonton Indian Residential School in 1960–61.
  • Registration is open for the 20th annual BC Natural Resources Forum, Jan. 17-19 at Prince George:
  • The seventh Indigenous Resource Opportunities Conference is scheduled for Feb. 28-March 1:
  • The First Nation’s Major Projects Coalition has set its 2023 Values Driven Economy Conference for April 24-25 in Vancouver. Early-bird discount ends Dec. 15. Register here: ly/aKUX50KKKnh
  • The Forward Summit’s 2023 event is set for May 17-18, at the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino near Calgary. Registration: (Note that there’s an Indigenous discount.)

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(Posted here 16 October 2022)


First Nations LNG Alliance Newsletter