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First Nations support for LNG development continues to grow

Press Release

VICTORIA – Three First Nations have joined the growing support for liquefied natural gas (LNG) development in B.C. through natural gas pipeline benefits agreements signed with the Province.

Gitxaala First Nation, Kitselas First Nation, and Yekooche First Nation have signed agreements to share benefits from LNG development. The proposed pipeline projects covered under the agreements vary among the First Nations and include TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink (CGL) and Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT), and Spectra’s Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission (WCGT) pipeline projects.

Pipeline benefits agreements with First Nations are part of the B.C. government’s comprehensive plan to partner with First Nations on LNG opportunities, which also includes developing skills training and environmental stewardship projects.

The three First Nations will receive initial, one-time payments upon the effective date of the agreements, and construction-related payments – 50% when construction of a pipeline project begins, and the other half once the pipeline project is in operation.

The terms of the agreements and initial, one-time benefit payments will be triggered once the First Nations signal to the Province they want the agreements to come into effect. Some First Nations have chosen to make their agreements effective upon signing with the Province while others have chosen to wait until they have also signed impact benefit agreements with the companies.

In addition to payments made on construction-related milestones, the three First Nationswill receive a share of $10 million a year in ongoing benefits per pipeline project that affects their traditional territory. Those ongoing benefits will be available to First Nations along the natural gas pipeline project routes. The B.C. government anticipates signing similar agreements with other First Nations in the near future.

The pipeline benefits agreements with Gitxaala and Kitselas First Nations are the first two agreements announced for the proposed WCGT project.

Provincial benefit-sharing on these pipeline projects offers First Nations resources to partner in economic development, complements industry impact benefit agreements that provide jobs and business opportunities, and is a powerful way for government and First Nations to work together to help grow the LNG industry.

Quotes:

John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –

“First Nations support for LNG development in B.C. is gaining momentum as a result of our comprehensive approach to ensure First Nations are active partners and beneficiaries of B.C.’s LNG opportunity. We have been holding discussions with more than 30 First Nations for infrastructure specific to natural gas pipelines and anticipate that other First Nations will realize the opportunity.”

Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development –

“We are building strong partnerships with First Nations as British Columbia’s LNG prospects increase, securing job creation and economic growth. These agreements further our goal to develop long-lasting benefits throughout the province.”

Chief Clarence Innis, Gitxaala First Nation –

“Gitxaala First Nation welcomes the opportunity to be an active partner of LNG in B.C. In addition to our pipeline benefits agreements, we look forward to our members further participating in skills training and environmental stewardship opportunities that form part of the comprehensive package being tabled by government.”

Chief Joe Bevan, Kitselas First Nation –

“It is important to ensure that members of our communities benefit from economic development on land that we have been interconnected with for generations. By partnering with B.C. today, we have secured the assurance that members of the Kitselas First Nation will share in the prosperity of a new LNG export industry in B.C.”

Chief Allan Joseph, Yekooche First Nation –

“As leaders, we need to ensure members of our communities have an opportunity to share in the prosperity presented by LNG development. Pipeline benefits agreements are partnerships that will improve the economies of our communities and provide certainty for industry.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Province issued environmental assessment certificates for the proposed CGL, PRGT and WCGT projects in the fall of 2014. In addition to meeting conditions set out in respective environmental assessment certificates, each project will now require various federal, provincial and local government permits to proceed.
  • The Province has also reached pipeline benefits agreements with the Skin Tyee First Nation, Nee Tahi Buhn Indian Band, and Wet’suwet’en First Nation for the proposed CGL project, and with the Nisga’a Nation for the proposed PRGT project.
  • Pipeline benefits agreements are separate from industry impact benefit agreements. Pipeline benefits agreements are made between the Province and First Nations, exclusive of companies. Impact benefit agreements are made between companies and First Nations, exclusive of the Province.

Learn More:

Pipeline benefits agreements the Province has signed with First Nations: ow.ly/FHpL0

Environmental assessment certificate for the proposed CGL pipeline project: ow.ly/FalhH

Environmental assessment certificate for the proposed PRGT and WCGT pipeline projects: ow.ly/FrMGW

Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Act: ow.ly/DYOXm

More information on LNG in B.C., including the Province’s latest news, frequently asked questions, and links to LNG skills and training can be found at engage.gov.bc.ca/lnginbc

Follow the conversation on LNG using this hashtag #LNGinBC

A backgrounder follows.

Media Contacts:

Lisa Leslie
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Communications
250 213-7724

Chief Clarence Innis
Gitxaala First Nation
250 848-2214

Chief Joe Bevan
Kitselas First Nation
778 634-3517 (work)
250 641-2967 (cell)
[email protected]

Arthur JT Erickson
Economic Development Manager
Yekooche First Nation
250 649-2033

BACKGROUNDER

New pipeline benefits agreements signed with First Nations

The Province has been working with more than 30 First Nations to discuss benefits related to three proposed natural gas pipeline project developments within their traditional territories – TransCanada’s Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) and Coastal GasLink (PRGT) pipeline projects, and Spectra’s Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission (WCGT) pipeline project. These discussions have resulted in pipeline benefits agreements for the following First Nations:

Gitxaala First Nation –

Located 45 kilometres southwest of Prince Rupert, Gitxaala has approximately 1,915 members.

Breakdown of benefits for the proposed PRGT pipeline project:

  • $1.85 million total (approx.)
  • $308,000 one-time payment upon signing or effective date
  • $770,000 when pipeline construction begins
  • $770,000 when the pipeline goes into operation
  • Share of $10 million annually after the pipeline project is in operation

Breakdown of benefits for the proposed WCGT pipeline project:

  • $1.97 million total (approx.)
  • $328,000 one-time payment upon signing or effective date
  • $820,000 when pipeline construction begins
  • $820,000 when the pipeline goes into operation
  • Share of $10 million annually after the pipeline project is in operation

Kitselas First Nation –

Located east of Terrace, Kitselas has approximately 625 members. Kitselas First Nation has signed a benefits agreement covering all three proposed pipeline projects.

Breakdown of benefits for the proposed CGL pipeline project:

  • $1.38 million total (approx.)
  • $230,000 one-time payment upon signing or effective date
  • $575,000 when pipeline construction begins
  • $575,000 when the pipeline goes into operation
  • Share of $10 million annually after the pipeline project is in operation

Breakdown of benefits for the proposed PRGT pipeline project:

  • $2.11 million total (approx.)
  • $352,000 one-time payment upon signing or effective date
  • $880,000 when pipeline construction begins
  • $880,000 when the pipeline goes into operation
  • Share of $10 million annually after the pipeline project is in operation

Breakdown of benefits for the proposed WCGT pipeline project:

  • $1.91 million total (approx.)
  • $318,000 one-time payment upon signing or effective date
  • $795,000 when pipeline construction begins
  • $795,000 when the pipeline goes into operation
  • Share of $10 million annually after the pipeline project is in operation

Yekooche First Nation –

Located 75 kilometres northwest of Fort St. James, Yekooche First Nation has approximately 225 members.

Breakdown of benefits for the CGL pipeline benefits agreement:

  • $468,000 total (approx.)
  • $78,000 one-time payment upon signing or effective date
  • $195,000 when pipeline construction begins
  • $195,000 when the pipeline goes into operation
  • Share of $10 million annually in ongoing benefits after the pipeline project is in operation

Breakdown of benefits for the PRGT pipeline benefits agreement:

  • $468,000 total (approx.)
  • $78,000 one-time payment upon signing or effective date
  • $195,000 when pipeline construction begins
  • $195,000 when the pipeline goes into operation
  • Share of $10 million annually in ongoing benefits after the pipeline project is in operation

Media Contacts:

Lisa Leslie
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Communications
250 213-7724

Chief Clarence Innis
Gitxaala First Nation
250 848-2214

Chief Joe Bevan
Kitselas First Nation
778 634-3517 (work)
250 641-2967 (cell)
[email protected]

Arthur JT Erickson
Economic Development Manager
Yekooche First Nation
250 649-2033

IBF5

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