Province reaches agreements with Metlakatla First Nation on LNG industry near Prince Rupert

 

 
Lelu Island, site of the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal. Photo by Brian Huntington

VICTORIA, B.C. – The Metlakatla First Nation has come to several new agreements with the B.C. government with regards to the potential LNG export industry in the Prince Rupert area.

“With the support of First Nations, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a liquefied natural gas export industry that will create thousands of direct and indirect jobs, adhere to the highest environmental standards and be a model of what can be achieved when we work together as partners,” said Premier Christy Clark.

The agreements provide initial funding to the Metlakatla First Nation for community and economic development projects, as well as social initiatives, linked to the construction and operation of Pacific NorthWest LNG. Those benefits are based on specific steps in the development of a coastal LNG industry and reflect Metlakatla support for the LNG.

“Much progress has been made through these agreements to ensure financial benefits and economic development opportunities are realized to the benefit of the members and the region,” said Harold Leighton, Chief Councillor, Metlakatla First Nation. “Supported by these agreements, we look forward to continued collaboration with the Province and industry to ensure high safety and environmental measures are in place for LNG development on the North Coast and that the protection of the air, land and waters of our traditional territory is ensured.”

“We look forward to working closely with the Metlakatla First Nation in developing a LNG industry on B.C.’s north coast, and moving us closer to the goal of establishing a clean natural gas export industry,” said Rich Coleman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Gas Development.

In addition to benefits identified under the LNG Benefits Agreement and Coastal Fund Benefits Agreement with the Province, Pacific NorthWest LNG has executed an impact benefits agreement with the Metlakatla First Nation which will serve as the foundation for long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships. The agreements with Pacific NorthWest LNG are nearly identical to those reached with the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation today, and include:
* Access to employment;
* Training and capacity funding;
* Financing for cultural support;
* Participation in ongoing environmental monitoring;
* First Nations business opportunities in the construction and operational phases of the project; and,
* Annual payments based on production of the LNG facility.

The Province’s agreement includes additional benefits in recognition of Metlakatla’s support for LNG projects in the Prince Rupert area, should industry proponents reach final investment decisions.