TransCanada Corporation has announced it has signed community and project agreements with 100 per cent of elected Indigenous bands along its Coastal GasLink pipeline route. The 670-kilometre long pipeline would carry natural gas from the Montney region near Dawson Creek B.C. to Kitimat on the West Coast.
The signing of agreements with all 20 Indigenous groups along the route demonstrates strong Indigenous support for the proposed natural gas pipeline.
“When we first began this project over six years ago, our goal was to build more than just relationships with First Nations communities in B.C.; it was to build trusted partnerships, and that has made all the difference," said Rick Gateman, president of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project in a news release. "We are grateful to these First Nations communities for this opportunity and appreciate the incredible support they have shown us over the years.”
TransCanada notes that contracting and employment opportunities, along with the long-term benefit programs were designed specifically for each community along the route. They provide Indigenous groups with job opportunities and sustainable sources of revenue over the life of the project.
“Today’s announcement is a testament to what we can accomplish when industry and First Nations work together,” said Gary Naziel, councilor, Witset First Nation in the release. “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."
The Coastal GasLink Pipeline project will initially carry approximately 2.1 billion cubic feet (bcf)/day of natural gas, with potential for expansion to up to 5 bcf/day. Construction is set to begin in 2019, with a planned in-service date in 2023. The pipeline will help supply the planned LNG Canada LNG export terminal in Kitimat, B.C.
Coastal GasLink Pipeline By the Numbers:
|-||2,000 to 2,500 jobs created during construction|
|-||$20 million/yr generated in tax benefits to B.C. communities|
|-||441,000 hours of environmental field studies conducted|
|-||$6.2 billion estimated capital investment|
|-||$620 million awarded to Indigenous business and contractors for construction activities|