In the wake of protests and counter-protests, expressions of support for the proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline have rolled in. These include “An open letter on why Haisla Nation stands behind LNG” highlighting the “respectful and impactful negotiations and discussions” the First Nation has had with LNG Canada and Coastal GasLink. The letter points out the positive impact the project will have in terms of both creating employment for the community as well as revitalizing the Haisla culture.
A story on aptnnews.ca “The opportunity we have is immeasurable’: B.C. First Nation waits for LNG facility”, features Edmund Grant of Kitimaat Village expressing his appreciation for the work the project has brought to date, and the hope for opportunities down the road.
A story by the Burns Lake Lakes District News, “Most First Nations in northern BC support LNG pipeline”, highlights members of the Skin Tyee First Nation talking about the opportunities for jobs, housing and the ability to start companies run by Indigenous entrepreneurs. The story also features Burns Lake First Nation Chief Dan George—who is also the First Nations LNG Alliance (FNLNG) chair—noting that there are hereditary chiefs who support the project; while Karen Ogen-Toews, CEO of FNLNGA, stresses the need for all involved, whether for or against to receive respectful treatment.
Prior to commencing the project, Coastal GasLink proponent TransCanada pipeline signed community and project agreements with all 20 elected Indigenous bands along the Coastal GasLink pipeline route. An open letter by Coastal GasLink president Rick Gateman discussed this strong support as being the result of “thousands of hours of listening to and engaging with communities and First Nations on this project.”
About Coastal GasLink
The Coastal GasLink pipeline is a proposed 670-kilometre pipeline that will initially carry natural gas from the interior of northeastern B.C. to the coast. 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. It is expected that the pipeline will create 2,500 construction jobs, many with First Nations contractors. To date, Coastal GasLink has awarded $620 million in contract work to Indigenous businesses for the project’s right-of-way clearing, medical, security and camp management needs.