The Squamish Nation – a group of descendents from the Coast Salish Aboriginal people who lived in what is now the Greater Vancouver region – have voted to approve an Environmental Assessment Agreement for the proposed construction of the Woodfibre LNG project. The Squamish Nation has also issued an Environmental Certificate to the company, meaning that the project can now proceed, provided it agrees to the 25 legally binding conditions noted in the certificate.
Chief Ian Campbell, the Council Spokesperson, said: “For our Nation the environment comes first […] but there is more — much more — to be done. During our community meetings, members made clear their priorities — environmental protection and public safety among others — and we intend to set these into law.
“The whole rationale for our independent assessment was to make sure our Aboriginal rights and title interests are protected.”
Whilst the Woodfibre LNG project has been approved, Campbell warned: “There is still no agreement on the FortisBC pipeline. The pipeline is subject to a separate SN Environmental Assessment Agreement.” Nonetheless, negotiations are still underway.
Campbell concluded: “Since our community outreach started in November 2014, four focus groups were held. We then initiated a comprehensive programme of public education and held a series of community meetings. Members learned about the proposed projects and shared their opinions, questions and concerns about how the proposal might impact them, their families, and their use and occupancy of the land in the proposed project areas. The assessment represents an exercise in Squamish Nation self-determination by moving beyond mere consultation and getting to First Nation consent. Our decision today reflects the interests, the will, and the beliefs of our members. It is our future—our decision to make.”
Edited from press release by David Rowlands
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/liquid-natural-gas/16102015/squamish-nation-gives-woodfibre-lng-the-ok-1481/