Coastal GasLink Pipeline analysis Part 4: Recommendations for conflict resolution

This article concludes a four-part series analyzing the Coastal GasLink Pipeline, which is currently under construction to provide natural gas from Northeast B.C. to the LNG Canada project for export.

The interesting conflicts resulting from the pipeline’s unique social, environmental and political characteristics serve to demonstrate some of the reasons why pipeline approval and construction has become so difficult in modern Canada.

Also in this series:

TC Energy applied Canada’s common law legal and policy framework during planning and social engagement of the CGL pipeline project. By doing so, the company achieved an unprecedented level of social acceptance from First Nations communities located along the pipeline right-of-way. This strategy also allowed TC Energy to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals with which to initiate development.

The recent events associated with the CGL pipeline project development highlight Canada’s fluid and evolving social, legal and regulatory environment. Moving forward, it is critical that industry players recognize this phenomenon, and that they take the necessary steps to implement strategies that will allow them to operate beyond minimum expectations.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that TC Energy did not consult with the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Nations. We apologize for the error.

Ryan Lemiski is a senior exploration geologist with Calgary-based Gran Tierra Energy. He completed Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees at the University of Alberta, and was recently part of the first cohort to graduate from the Master of Earth and Energy Resources Leadership program at Queen’s University.
Ryan’s interests include subsurface science and its application to oil and gas exploration, surface and stakeholder relation issues, and analysis of Canadian and global energy policy.

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