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

Get your cowbells, the Cowboy Concert will be in 100 Mile House on Feb. 16

The matinee show is sold out but tickets are still available for the evening show

Small programs can make a big difference

At the 100 Mile Free Press, we’re currently working on completing this… Continue reading

Snowarama coming to Green Lake area

Poker run, 50/50 draw and an open house at the snowmobile club

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

Most Read