The Province of British Columbia (B.C.), Canada, has issued a statement thanking members of the Lax Kw’alaams Band for voting in favour of continuing to pursue LNG development in their traditional territory.
Through a community poll, 65.5% of 812 members of the Lax Kw’alaams Band expressed support for their council to continue discussions with both the Province of B.C. and industry, provided the environment is protected.
The Lax Kw’alaams council held extensive informational meetings prior to the vote, where band members reviewed the Pacific NorthWest LNG proposal, the opportunities associated with LNG development, and plans for environmental protection and monitoring.
Pacific NorthWest LNG is currently being reviewed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, with a decision expected in the near future. The proposed natural gas liquefaction and export facility will be located on Lelu Island within the District of Port Edward on land administered by the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA). The facility would liquefy and export natural gas produced by Progress Energy Canada Ltd in northeast B.C. Both Pacific NorthWest LNG and Progress Energy are majority-owned by Petronas. Minority shareholders in the LNG project include Sinopec, JAPEX, Indian Oil Corp. and PetroleumBRUNEI.
Pacific NorthWest LNG previously announced a conditional final investment decision in June 2015 and plans to review all elements of its LNG facility following a verdict by the federal government.
Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development, said: “The Government of British Columbia congratulates the Lax Kw’alaams Band for voting in support of continuing their discussions with us. Pacific NorthWest LNG will create jobs and new economic opportunities for members of the Lax Kw’alaams and, collectively, we will ensure the export facility upholds the highest standards environmental protection.”
John Helin, Mayor, Lax Kw’alaams Band, said: “This is another step in a process that could lead to the Petronas project becoming a reality. We will have meetings with the appropriate parties – Petronas, the Province, and the federal government – to see what the next steps are for this proposed project. I appreciate the views and concerns of everyone and take them very seriously. We have not moved from our position about the environment, which is a very important component.”
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, added: “The results of Lax Kw’alaams community poll show strong support for further discussions with government and industry proponents about potential LNG development. This is an important milestone and we share the First Nations goal of protecting the environment and providing positive outcomes for Lax Kw’alaams and all British Columbians as future agreements are pursued.”
Edited from press release by Callum O'Reilly
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/liquefaction/26082016/first-nations-vote-in-favour-of-lng-development-2960/