The route of the proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline which will bring natural gas to Kitimat. Image supplied

All 20 First Nations sign Coastal GasLink pipeline agreement

The proposed 670 km pipeline would deliver natural gas to Kitimat’s LNG Canada facility

TransCanada has announced that all 20 First Nations groups along the length of the Coastal GasLink pipeline have now signed a project agreement.

The announcement clears the way for the construction of the proposed 670 km pipeline which would deliver natural gas from Dawson Creek to the LNG Canada facility in Kitimat for export.

“Support for the agreements comes from the elected leaders of the 20 Indigenous bands as well as from several traditional and hereditary leaders within these communities,” said Coastal GasLink president Rick Gateman.

“The contracting and employment opportunities along with the long-term benefit programs set forth in the agreements were designed specifically for each community along the route, providing Indigenous groups with job opportunities and sustainable sources of revenue over the life of the project.”

Gateman didn’t say who the last First Nation was to sign. However, the Northern Sentinel reported in July that the Haisla Nation Council (HNC) was the only one of the 20 First Nations that had not yet signed an agreement.

The Haisla Nation Council has not signed an LNG pipeline project agreement

At the time the HNC didn’t give a reason why it hadn’t yet signed an agreement – HNC spokesperson Cameron Orr said in July that the council remained “fully committed to the support and success of liquefied natural gas development in Haisla territory.”

Responding to TransCanada’s announcement today, HNC chief councillor Crystal Smith said the council is “happy to celebrate Coastal GasLink’s major milestone.”

“First Nations in Northern B.C. have a real opportunity to work together to build benefits for each of our communities, which respects Aboriginal rights and title, separate from the political realm,” said Smith. “This announcement from Coastal GasLink is an example of that opportunity.”

She said the HNC was looking forward “to continuing to work together with Coastal GasLink as they develop their project.”

Gateman also didn’t mention the ongoing struggle with a breakaway group of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, who established a gated camp on the route that the proposed pipeline will follow.

TransCanada is investigating an alternate route which starts about 21 km southwest of Burns Lake and ends 25 km south of Houston, which will be approximately 41 km long and runs about 3.5 km south of the approved route.

”The project continues to hold discussions with some hereditary governance groups and is optimistic that additional agreements may be reached in the near future, should the project receive a positive final investment decision from LNG Canada,” said Gateman.

First Nations LNG Alliance CEO Karen Ogen-Toews, a former elected chief councillor of the Wet’suwet’en, said the pipeline “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,” said Ogen-Toews. “We are seeing real opportunity here, and real support for the 20 Nations.”

In July Alliance spokesperson Donald MacLachlan declined to answer a number of questions sent by the Sentinel about the HNC not having signed an agreement.

“Each First Nation makes its own decisions on resource issues, and rightly so,” said MacLachlan.

In addition to finalizing the agreements, the Coastal GasLink project has also awarded approximately $620 million in conditional contracting and employment opportunities to northern Indigenous businesses.

The project anticipates another $400 million in contracting opportunities for local and Indigenous businesses during the construction period, bringing the total to approximately $1 billion for B.C.

A final pipeline construction cost has yet to be determined.

Contact the newsroom

Message us on Facebook

Just Posted

West Fraser to reduce sawmill production in Quesnel, Fraser Lake

The move will affect 75 employees in Quesnel, 60 in Fraser Lake

Roos lose heartbreaker to Stamps in OT

Gassoff scores three in back-and-forth affair

‘Targeted incident’ leads to death of Quesnel man

One man died of life-threatening injuries on Nov. 8

MLA urges locals to seek out missing referendum ballots; get educated

MLA Oakes says she’s hearing daily of people who still haven’t received their voting packages

Quesnel awarded $367,000 to further new opportunities for forest management

Rural Dividend grant will fund ideas from Forestry Think Tank and investigate manufacturing options

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Loggers pull door off wreckage to get to Cariboo crash victim

“It’s an absolute miracle the man’s alive.”

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Most Read