TransCanada says that 100 percent of elected Indigenous bands along the route of the pipeline for LNG Canada have signed agreements providing their support for the project.
There are now 20 contracting, employment and long-term benefits agreements in place across B.C. for the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline, which would transport 2.1 bcf/d of natural gas from western Canada to the export terminal.
TransCanada also recently awarded $620 million in Coastal Gaslink construction contracts to Indigenous businesses. These are conditional on Shell and its partners deciding to proceed with the $40 billion LNG Canada project, which is expected this year.
If the project does go ahead, another $400 million of contracts will be up for grab for Coastal Gaslink, TransCanada said on Thursday.
The company has been working to form “trusted partnerships” with local Indigenous communities along the route, Coastal Gaslink president Rick Gateman said in a statement.
Witset First Nation councilor Gary Naziel said the agreements in place are “a testament to what we can accomplish when industry and First Nations work together.”
“This project will provide jobs, contracts and financial benefits that Witset First Nation can use to enhance programs and initiatives for our citizens, such as language and cultural programs,” he said.
TransCanada said it continues to hold discussions with some hereditary governance groups along the route 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.
Coastal Gaslink has received all required major regulatory permits, and is expected to begin construction activities in early 2019 with a planned in-service date of 2023.
Here’s a look at the elected Indigenous groups who have signed on the support Coastal Gaslink:
- Stellat’en First Nation
- Saik’uz First Nation
- Cheslatta Carrier Nation
- McLeod Lake Indian Band
- Saulteau First Nations
- Kitselas First Nation
- West Moberly First Nations
- Lheidli T’enneh First Nation
- Nadleh Whut’en Indian Band
- Burns Lake Indian Band
- Blueberry River First Nations
- Halfway River First Nation
- Doig River First Nation
- Wet’suwet’en First Nation
- Yekooche First Nation
- Nee Tahi Buhn Indian Band
- Skin Tyee First Nation
- Witset First Nation
- Nak’azdli Whut’en
- Haisla Nation