Coastal GasLink signs agreements with elected indigenous bands
TransCanada Corporation has announced that its Coastal Gaslink Pipeline Project has signed community and project agreements with all of the elected Indigenous bands along its pipeline route in British Columbia.
These agreements, totalling 20 across the province, exemplify the strong Indigenous support received for the proposed natural gas pipeline project in British Columbia.
“This is an important milestone for the Coastal GasLink team,” said Rick Gateman, president of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project. “When we first began this project over six years ago, our goal was to build more than just relationships with First Nations communities in British Columbia; it was to build trusted partnerships, and that has made all the difference. We are grateful to these First Nations communities for this opportunity and appreciate the incredible support they have shown us over the years.”
The contracting and employment opportunities along with the long-term benefit programs set forth in the agreements were designed specifically for each community along the route, providing Indigenous groups with job opportunities and sustainable sources of revenue over the life of the project. Support for the agreements comes from the elected leaders of the 20 Indigenous bands indicated below as well as from several traditional and hereditary leaders within these communities. The project continues to hold discussions with some hereditary governance groups and is optimistic that additional agreements may be reached in the near future, should the project receive a positive final investment decision from LNG Canada.
“Today’s announcement is a testament to what we can accomplish when industry and First Nations work together,” said Gary Naziel, councillor, Witset First Nation. “This project will provide jobs, contracts and financial benefits that Witset First Nation can use to enhance programs and initiatives for our citizens, such as language and cultural programs. We look forward to continuing to work together with the Coastal GasLink project toward these common goals.”
In addition to finalising these agreements, the Coastal GasLink project also awarded approximately $620 million in conditional contracting and employment opportunities to northern Indigenous businesses this past July. That announcement kicked off a series of signing ceremonies hosted by Indigenous communities across the province. The program provided community members, businesses and contractors with an opportunity to participate in communal gatherings, traditional songs and prayers to celebrate the important milestone. The project anticipates another $400 million in contracting opportunities for local and Indigenous businesses during the construction period, bringing the total to approximately $1 billion for British Columbia.