The Pacific Trail Pipeline is a proposed 487 kilometre natural gas pipeline that will deliver gas from Summit Lake, B.C. to the Kitimat LNG facility site at Bish Cove on the northwest coast of British Columbia. SOURCE: Chevron
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – May 21, 2014) – The 15 First Nations members of the First Nations Limited Partnership (FNLP) today announced their strong continued support for the proposed Pacific Trail Pipeline (PTP) project, and support of the Moricetown Indian Band (MIB) and the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs (WHC) in their decision making related to the PTP natural gas pipeline project. This support includes the continued opportunity for MIB to join the FNLP, and FNLP willingness to engage and support MIB and the WHC on opportunities to address concerns, including enhanced environmental stewardship and economic development opportunities.
FNLP is a business partnership of First Nations working together to ensure a better future for its members through responsible economic development that respects Aboriginal Right and Title and sustains Aboriginal environmental and cultural values. The 15 First Nations members of FNLP are the Haisla First Nation, Kitselas First Nation, Lax Kw’alaams Band, Lheidli T’enneh Band, McLeod Lake Indian Band, Metlakatla First Nation, Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, Nak’azdli Band, Nee Tahi Buhn Band, Saik’uz First Nation, Skin Tyee First Nation, Stellat’en First Nation, Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation, West Moberly First Nations and Wet’suwet’en First Nation. Currently the Moricetown Indian Band is the only elected First Nation Band along the proposed PTP route from Summit Lake to the Bish Cove near Kitimat that is not a member of FNLP. There is currently an opportunity for Moricetown to join the FNLP.
The 15 First Nation members of FNLP have advanced relations with industry proponents and government, working together to ensure that the PTP project is developed and operated in an environmentally sustainable manner, and that First Nations are meaningful participants and receive substantial financial and economic development opportunities. These opportunities, which represent one of the richest benefits packages ever negotiated by First Nations in the Province, include financial payments, preferred sourcing of construction contracts, training, job and other economic benefits from the pipeline.
FNLP members have already received substantial benefits associated with the PTP project, including agreement to a $200 million financial benefit stream payable over the life of the project. This makes the FNLP Agreement the largest benefit package ever awarded to First Nations in British Columbia. Some of the other benefits that have been achieved to date include:
- Almost $140 million in PTP construction contracts have been awarded to FNLP member joint ventures and businesses;
- Approximately 370,000 construction hours worked on project so far, with First Nations involvement is over 50% of the hours worked;
- FNLP members have been awarded over $400 million in construction contract opportunities from the PTP and related Kitimat LNG plant through early 2014;
- A First Nation controlled joint venture will be appointed as the prime pipeline construction contractor for one or more segments of the PTP;
- First Nations businesses or joint ventures will be awarded all contracts for logging and clearing, access road construction, upgrading and restoration; right-of-way and valve site restoration; camp and stockpile sites and security services for stockpile sites along the pipeline route;
- Over $16 million in funds have been committed to skills training through the Pacific Trails Pipeline Aboriginal Skills Employment Partnership (PTP ASEP) to train and assist First Nations members in finding work in B.C. industries. More than 1,800 clients have already been trained by PTP ASEP and more than 600 now have well-paid jobs; and
- FNLP members continue to be actively involved in the ongoing permitting process to ensure that environmental conditions are satisfied and that any environmental impacts from construction are eliminated or fully mitigated.
At recent meetings in Moricetown, elected Chiefs from the other Wet’suwet’en Bands that are part of FNLP heard the members of MIB, their Band Council, and Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs express their core values. These included respect for the land, vitality of traditional cultural values, protection of right and title, economic self determination and a sustainable future for their people. The 15 First Nations members of FNLP share these common values. They also heard concerns expressed in the community about the possibility that the natural gas pipeline might someday be converted to an oil pipeline, about the adequacy of cultural and environmental protections, and about whether promised contractual and employment benefits will be realized.
FNLP has approved measures in support of MIB and HCW in their discussion with PTP and the Province including:
- support in the negotiation of enhanced environmental stewardship protections. This includes expanding the role of the Office of the Wet’suwet’en in this function, and further measures against the possible conversion of PTP into an oil or bitumen pipeline;
- support for Moricetown and other Wet’suwet’en members to participate in preferred employment and contracting opportunities associated with the 2014 PTP work program, including logging and clearing, access road construction, upgrading and restoration; right-of-way and value site restoration; camp and stockpile sites and security services for stockpile sites occurring in Wet’suwet’en territory;
- support in the negotiation of further Wet’suwet’en business development opportunities outside of the FNLP agreement; and
- support in the negotiation of enhanced cultural and heritage provisions.
The 15 First Nations agreed to work together with the MIB and HCW to achieve agreements with the Province that reflect:
- a fair sharing of provincial revenues from LNG development with impacted First Nations; and
- co-partnership for First Nations in developing and implementing an enhanced environmental stewardship regime that ensures that the benefits of the natural gas pipeline projects proposed for the Province will be realized in a manner that fully protects Aboriginal lands and values.
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