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Legislation may assist Nisga’a Nation

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LNG Industry,

British Columbia’s Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister, John Rustad, has introduced a new Bill which, if passed, will help the Nisga’a Nation become a major participant in the Province’s emerging LNG economy.

Bill 7 - 2014 – the Nisga’a Final Agreement Amendment Act – would help establish the Nisga’a Nation as the primary property taxation authority over Nisga’a Lands.

The legislation gives effect to the Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement between the Province and the Nisga’a Nation, which was signed by the parties in July, and enables the Nisga’a Lisims Government to levy and collect property tax from persons other than Nisga’a citizens, including companies that operate industrial installations, such as LNG pipelines and midstream infrastructure.

“The Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement ensures that the Nisga’a Nation receives a direct benefit from property taxation on Nisga’a Lands, and particularly with respect to the LNG opportunity,” said Rustad. “Treaties are the highest form of reconciliation and the Nisga’a Final Agreement exemplifies that. It enables economic development and a prosperous future for the Nisga’a Nation, while respecting Nisga’a cultural and environmental values.”

With the agreement of the Nisga’a Nation, co-ordinated legislation also introduced from Environment Minister, Mary Polak, offers an initial step for a proposed LNG pipeline project to move forward, through the modification of the boundaries of Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park.

The introduction of this legislation follows discussions between the Province and the Nisga’a Nation. The two parties jointly manage Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park, and any alteration to the park’s boundaries requires the consent of the Nisga’a Nation.

Bill 8-2014 – the Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act (No. 2), 2014, if passed and brought into force by regulation, will confirm the removal of 63.5 ha. of land from Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park. This will assist Prince Rupert Gas Transmission’s (PRGT) proposed 900 km pipeline project to move forward if all regulatory approvals are received.

Mitchell Stevens, President of the Nisga’a Lisims Government, said: “These pieces of legislation are major milestones for the Nisga’a Nation. They will assist the Nisga’a Nation in participating in the emerging LNG economy, on terms acceptable to the Nisga’a Nation. Allowing the modification of protected land is never easy, but it strikes a balance between respecting our Treaty interests and encouraging economic development for Nisga’a citizens.”

Adapted from press release by

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