Local First Nations sign natural gas benefits agreements

Photo by Energy East Pipeline

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The province has confirmed two local area First Nations have signed Natural Gas Pipeline Benefit Agreements that will provide direct benefits to their communities if and when there’s further development of a BC liquefied natural gas industry.

The West Moberly and McLeod Lake Treaty 8 First Nations have both signed agreements which relate to TransCanada’s proposed Coastal GasLink Pipeline — slated to run from the Dawson Creek area to the west coast and to transport natural gas from the Peace to the proposed LNG Canada facility near Kitimat.

A provincial government news release says the West Moberly First Nation will receive an initial payment of $201,000, and if the pipeline proceeds to the construction phase to the service phase, it is scheduled to get two more payments of approximately $1 million each.

It will also be the recipient of an as yet-to-be determined annual share of $10 million in ongoing benefits when service on the pipeline begins.

Meantime, under terms of an agreement with similar conditions relating to the same pipeline, the McLeod Lake Band will receive an initial payment of $338,000.

Two additional payments will be for nearly $1.7 million and it is also scheduled to receive the same yet-to-be determined annual share of 10 million in ongoing benefits.

Macleod Lake has also signed an agreement that relates to the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project — a proposed 900-kilometre pipeline to deliver natural gas from the Hudson’s Hope area to the proposed Pacific Northwest LNG facility.

Under terms of this deal, the band is slated to receive an initial payment of $295,000, two further payments of more than $1.4 million each related to the start of construction and then to the start of service, and once again an annual share of another ten million dollars when service begins.

Finally the province has also confirmed, West Moberly will also benefit from the government’s recent investment of $500,000 dollars in skills training funding through the residential Building Maintenance Worker Apprenticeship Program, and the Moberly Lake academic program.