Indigenous communities along the route of the Coastal GasLink pipeline have signed agreements with TC Energy (the builder of the pipeline) to acquire a 10 per cent equity stake in the project.
The agreement includes 16 of 20 Indigenous communities along the pipeline route. The elected band councils of those 20 communities have already expressed support for the project, which brings sustainable jobs and economic growth to northern B.C. These communities also have other business partnerships with the project including supply chain contracts as well as benefits agreements to build thriving communities through investments in cultural, sports, health and education programs and infrastructure.
The communities are represented by two groups, the CGL First Nations Limited Partnership and the FN CGL Pipeline Limited Partnership.
“For many of us, this marks the first time that our Nations have been included as owners in a major natural resource project that is crossing our territories,” said Chief Corrina Leween of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation, adding, “This is a historic milestone.”
Chief Justin Napoleon of the Saulteau First Nations said, “This investment in Coastal GasLink will finally start to shift the landscape, aligning industry and Indigenous peoples’ interests over the entire life cycle of a project.”
Bevin Wirzba, president of Coastal GasLink, added, “We recognize that enduring relationships need to include long-term economic opportunities that support the resiliency of Indigenous communities.”
The equity options can be executed once the pipeline begins service, subject to customary regulatory approval. Revenues from the equity agreements would allow communities to fund roads, housing, schools and community facilities and service.