The government of British Columbia (B.C.) has announced that it has signed a new agreement with the Saulteau First Nations regarding the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline project.
As part of the agreement, the Saulteau First Nations will receive approximately CAN$3.9 million in funding as construction related milestones are reached. Saulteau and other First Nations along the natural gas pipeline route will also share CAN$10 million per year in ongoing benefits once the pipeline is in service.
Pipeline benefits agreements with First Nations are part of the B.C. government’s comprehensive plan to partner with First Nations on LNG opportunities, which also includes increasing First Nations’ access to skills training and environmental stewardship projects.
Last year, the B.C. government and Saulteau signed a New Relationship and Reconciliation Agreement, which will help to protect areas of traditional importance and guide natural resource development in the province’s Northeast.
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, said: “This is another example of how responsible resource development can coexist with treaty rights to build a better economic and sustainable future in First Nations communities and the province as a whole. Chief Nathan Parenteau and his council are showing leadership in the Northeast as they create economic development opportunities while also preserving their culture, traditions and treaty rights.”
Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development, commented: “Benefits agreements are an important step towards sharing the prosperity that comes with natural gas development. We are building partnerships that are creating jobs and business opportunities while protecting First Nations cultures and the prospects of new investment.”
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education, said: “I congratulate Saulteau First Nations, all of the members and their Chief and council, for all their hard work, leadership and perseverance. Together we can create opportunities and build a brighter future for communities, for youth, and for the northeast region as a whole.”
Chief Nathan Parenteau, Saulteau First Nations, added: “This agreement is part of a growing recognition of our long-held treaty rights. It has the potential to help our community achieve its goals, and it represents another step towards a more balanced and respectful relationship between the Province and our Nation. Everyone must respect our treaty rights and work with us to find solutions.”
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/liquefaction/25112016/bc-government-inks-agreement-with-saulteau-first-nations/