Metlakatla First Nation has signed two pipeline benefits agreements with the provincial government that will provide direct benefits to the community as a result of B.C.’s developing liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.
The agreements relate to TransCanada’s proposed Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline and Spectra’s proposed Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission pipeline.
Natural gas pipeline benefits agreements with First Nations are part of the B.C. government’s comprehensive plan to partner with them on LNG opportunities, which also include increasing First Nations’ access to skills training and environmental stewardship projects.
Metlakatla First Nation has received an initial payment of $430,000 related to the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission line, and would receive two separate payments of just over $1 million as construction starts and when the natural gas line goes into service. As part of the agreement related to the Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission project, the First Nation has received an initial payment of $390,000, and would receive $975,000 as construction starts and an equal amount as the line goes into service. First Nations along each natural gas pipeline route will also share $10 million a year in ongoing benefits.
As a member of the Tsimshian Roundtable, an alliance of six Tsimshian First Nations in B.C.’s northwest, Metlakatla members will also benefit from funding for a new socio-economic agreement. The B.C. government has committed $9 million over three years through an agreement with the Tsimshian Roundtable to implement a new framework that focuses on skills training and the socio-economic well-being of Tsimshian members. This agreement builds on government’s skills training efforts in the region over the past year.
Members of the Metlakatla First Nation have received skills training and acquired employment through Pathways to Success, an employment-readiness program focused on job-specific industry training. Pathways to Success has been funded through B.C.’s Aboriginal Skills Training Development Fund, BG Canada, LNG Canada and Pacific NorthWest LNG.
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –
“Congratulations to Chief Councillor Leighton and all members of the Metlakatla First Nation for reaching this agreement. They are so often at the forefront of new projects and I applaud their vision and their drive to bring new opportunities to their community.”
Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development –
“Pursuing partnerships with First Nations as a means of creating jobs and providing a future for communities is the way to success in British Columbia. Benefits agreements are a good way for our LNG industry to develop in a manner that supports First Nations, our partners and all British Columbians.”
Harold Leighton, Chief Councillor, Metlakatla First Nation –
“It is important that we have a voice in developing industries in our territory. This kind of benefits agreements gives us that voice and offers us the opportunity to move forward in partnership with government and with business in a way that benefits everyone.”
- Located on the Tsimshian Peninsula, five kilometres west of Prince Rupert, the Metlakatla First Nation has approximately 865 members.
- The Metlakatla First Nation is among 29 First Nations to have established pipeline benefits agreements with the Province.
- The Province issued environmental assessment certificates for the proposed Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission and Prince Rupert Gas Transmission projects in the fall of 2014. In addition to meeting conditions set out in their environmental assessment certificates, each project now requires various federal, provincial and local government permits to proceed.
- In one year, more than 180 Tsimshian women and men participating in the Pathways to Success program have found jobs in industry sectors such as construction, customer service and environmental monitoring. Their average wage is $18.75 per hour, and the estimated total income for the formerly unemployed workers is over $4 million per year to-date. The six Tsimshian First Nations are the Metlakatla, Kitselas, Kitsumkalum, Lax Kw’alaams, Gitxaala and Gitga’at.
- The Tsimshian Roundtable is comprised of representatives of the Tsimshian Alliance and six LNG project proponents (Aurora LNG, BG Canada, LNG Canada, Pacific Northwest LNG, WCC LNG and Woodside LNG).
Metlakatla First Nation: metlakatla.ca
View natural gas pipeline benefits agreement: ow.ly/WcGRL
View benefits agreements with other First Nations: ow.ly/FHpL0
Information on environmental assessment certificates for the proposed West Coast Gas Transmission and Prince Rupert Gas Transmission projects: ow.ly/FrMGW
Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Act: ow.ly/WcBin
More information on LNG in B.C., including the Province’s latest news, frequently asked questions, and links to LNG skills and training can be found at: engage.gov.bc.ca/lnginbc
Follow the conversation on LNG using this hashtag #LNGinBC