Coastal GasLink signs First Nations benefits agreements

TransCanada said that its Coastal GasLink pipeline project has signed project agreements with Wet’suwet’en First Nation, Skin Tyee Nation, Nee-Tahi-Buhn Band, Yekooche First Nation, Doig River First Nation, and Halfway River First Nation, all of northern British Columbia.

These agreements are a positive step for the project and these First Nations, whose traditional and treaty territories are located along the proposed Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline route, the company said in a statement.

The project agreements include various financial and other benefits related to the pipeline project. The agreements are part of the Coastal GasLink’s approach to working with Aboriginal groups on opportunities related to B.C.’s emerging liquefied natural gas industry, including developing skills training, employment and utilizing Aboriginal businesses in contracting opportunities.

Twenty-seven percent of over 300,000 hours of fieldwork on the project has been conducted by Aboriginals. This important input allows the project to incorporate local knowledge into the pipeline’s design, including routing and site-specific mitigation plans, which are priorities for Coastal GasLink.

The energy infrastructure project will provide long-term economic benefits for B.C. and Canada. An estimated 32 percent of the $4.8 billion capital project will be spent locally in British Columbia, with economic benefits including over 2,000 jobs during construction and approximately $20 million in annual property tax payments. To date, over $38 million has already been spent in Northern B.C. along with $1.5 million invested in community initiatives along the proposed route, and more is planned, the company said.

Coastal GasLink is proposing to construct and operate a 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline from the Groundbirch area near Dawson Creek, B.C. to the proposed LNG Canada export facility near Kitimat, B.C.


Image: Coastal GasLink