BC Government and Petronas Offer $1 Billion Benefits Package to Lax Kw’alaams First Nation to Win Support for Pipeline

- May 5th, 2015

CBC News reported that the BC provincial government and Petronas have made an offer for a $1.15 billion benefits package to the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation in a bid to win support for a proposed LNG terminal and pipeline.

CBC News reported that the BC provincial government and Petronas have made an offer for a $1.15 billion benefits package to the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation in a bid to win support for a proposed LNG terminal and pipeline.

As quoted in the market news:

The deal is not the only one being pursued with aboriginals in advance of regulatory approval. One week ago, TransCanada, the company that plans to build the 950-kilometer pipeline from near Hudson’s Hope in northeastern B.C. to Prince Rupert on the coast, announced a deal with the Kitselas First Nation.

“Our government has been very clear that for too long First Nations have been excluded from economic development and that needs to change,” said the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation in an email on Friday.

An information bulletin published on the Lax Kw’alaams’ website notes the proposal includes $27.8 million for signing and preliminary agreements, construction and startup projects.

Annual payments would start at nearly $13 million and end with $50.5 million in year 40, for a total of just over $1 billion, it adds. The band would receive 2,200 hectares of land, worth about $108 million, in the Prince Rupert harbour area, as well as “additional lands of interest.” Targeted funds of nearly $29 million would cover road paving, compensation for fisheries, scholarships and training programs.

“The province is working with more than 40 First Nations to discuss benefits, concerns and the engagement process on proposed natural-gas pipelines and LNG-related infrastructure within their traditional territory,” said the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. “Proponents are also engaging with First Nations through similar discussions.”

The ministry said it has, to date, concluded talks with 27 First Nations on 54 agreements on natural gas pipelines, and it expects more, although the details will vary.

Pacific NorthWest LNG, a majority of which is owned by Petronas, plans to build an export terminal on Lelu Island, near Prince Rupert.

“If the project is constructed, Lelu Island will be effectively off bounds to Lax Kw’alaams’ members as the island will be largely cleared,” states a community backgrounder.

Click here to read the full CBC News report.

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