Fraser Forum

First Nations support LNG development in B.C.

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Last week, pro LNG rallies were held in Terrace, Fort St. John and in Fort Nelson, British Columbia. Hundreds of residents and LNG workers attended the rallies supporting LNG projects in their communities. Some may be surprised to learn that First Nations community members also attended the rallies.

In fact, one of the speakers at the Terrace rally, Chief Councillor Jo Bevan of Kitselas First Nation, highlighted why his community and many others support LNG. “As long as proponents maintain strong environmental standards, we support LNG because it brings jobs and growth to our Nation,” he said. With an unemployment rate of more than 20 per cent on Kitselas First Nation, the community could benefit from well-paying jobs and training opportunities for its members.  

And Kitselas First Nation is not the only First Nation community in B.C. that’s working with project proponents to bring LNG projects to fruition. In fact more than 25 First Nation communities in the province have signed LNG development agreements with project proponents, including:

Eleven First Nations communities, including West Moberly First Nation and Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, have signed agreements with TransCanada in support of the Coastal GasLink LNG pipeline project.

Haisla Nation, which has partnerships with Chevron and has built LNG storage and marine facilities on reserve land.

Wet’suwet’en First Nation that supports LNG development and whose Chief, Karen Ogen, has created a First Nation LNG Alliance in British Columbia—a pro-development LNG alliance.

LNG development in B.C. has the potential to bring prosperity to both First Nations and non-First Nations residents of the province. The B.C. government estimates that the benefits of LNG over a 30-year period could amount to total investment of $175 billion, add $1 trillion to the province’s gross domestic product, and lead to the establishment of 23,800 permanent direct and indirect jobs for operations. These are benefits all British Columbians will enjoy, and rallies like the ones held last week demonstrate that First Nations and other residents in B.C. want the opportunity to maximize and experience these benefits.