TransCanada Corp. has announced that its Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project has signed long-term project agreements with the Burns Lake Indian Band, Blueberry River First Nations (a participant in the historic Treaty 8), and Lheidli T'enneh First Nation. These agreements outline financial and other benefits and commitments that will be provided to these communities for as long as the pipeline project is in service.
"These agreements are a reflection of the meaningful way Aboriginal groups are choosing to participate in the long-term development of B.C.'s natural gas industry," said Rick Gateman, Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project President. "Their important contributions to our project allow us to incorporate their local knowledge into our planning and pipeline design, which is a priority for us. Their participation in these agreements makes Coastal GasLink a better project, and enables them to participate in the significant benefits coming from the project."
"The project agreement reflects that we can collaborate with companies like Coastal GasLink, and participate in the many benefits of the project," said Chief Dan George of Burns Lake Indian Band. "It's important to us to find ways to balance the economic opportunity with environmental protection."
"We believe the pipeline project will benefit our members today and for future generations, both financially and in terms of employment for our members," said Chief Marvin Yahey of Blueberry River First Nation. "The relationship we have established with TransCanada is just as important as the agreement, and we are confident that the relationship we have built will continue to the benefit of both parties for years to come."
"We welcome the opportunity to be an active partner of Coastal GasLink," said Chief Dominic Frederick of Lheidli T'enneh. "We look forward to our members further participating in skills development and environmental stewardship opportunities that form part of the comprehensive agreement."
To date, the Coastal GasLink team has had almost 15 000 interactions and engagements with Aboriginal communities along the proposed pipeline route, and a quarter of the over 333 000 hours of fieldwork on the project has been conducted by Aboriginal people.
Coastal GasLink is proposing to construct and operate a 670 km natural gas pipeline from the Groundbirch area near Dawson Creek, B.C. to the proposed LNG Canada liquefied natural gas export facility near Kitimat, B.C. The project is a key component of TransCanada's capital growth plan, which includes more than US$13 billion in proposed natural gas pipeline projects, which support the emerging liquefied natural gas industry on the B.C. Coast.
Edited from press release by Angharad Lock
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/project-news/10122015/coastal-gaslink-pipeline-project-signs-first-nation-project-agreements-1933/