McLeod Lake Indian Band signs LNG benefits agreements

The McLeod Lake Indian Band, a Treaty 8 First Nation located 140 kilometres north of Prince George, has signed two agreements with the provincial government that will provide direct benefits to the community through further development of British Columbia’s emerging liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

The first agreement relates to TransCanada’s proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline, a 670-kilometre liquefied natural gas pipeline from the Dawson Creek area to the west coast of B.C. The pipeline will transport natural gas to the proposed LNG Canada facility near Kitimat.

Under the terms of this agreement, the McLeod Lake band will receive an initial payment of $338,000. If the Coastal Gaslink pipeline proceeds to construction, McLeod Lake will receive an additional payment of approximately $1.69 million and a further $1.69 million once the pipeline goes into service. McLeod Lake will also receive a yet-to-be determined share of $10 million annually when service on this pipeline begins.

A second agreement relates to the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project (PRGT), a proposed 900-kilometre liquefied natural gas pipeline to deliver natural gas from the Hudson’s Hope area to the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG facility near Prince Rupert.

Under the terms of this agreement, the band will receive an initial payment of $295,000. If the PRGT project proceeds to construction, McLeod Lake will receive $1.475 million and a further $1.475 million once the pipeline goes into service and a share of $10 million annually when service begins.

Natural gas 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.

Partnering with First Nations on LNG development is part of the BC Jobs Plan focus on increasing Aboriginal participation in the economy, promoting successful investment between Aboriginal people and the private sector and ensuring Aboriginal people have access to education and training opportunities. It also complements industry impact benefit agreements that provide jobs and business opportunities.

Quotes:

John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –

“Our agreements with McLeod Lake and other First Nations throughout Northern B.C. are important milestones in realizing the tremendous advantages LNG is bringing to our province. Together, we are working build the world’s cleanest LNG industry and one that will provide significant benefits for all British Columbians.”

Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development –

“We are building meaningful partnerships with First Nations that create new jobs and economic opportunities. These agreements set the foundation for a bright future alongside the growth of B.C.’s natural gas sector.”

Chief Derek Orr, McLeod Lake Indian Band –

“Pipelines remain a very difficult issue among McLeod Lake’s people and we proceeded with this agreement only after conducting a referendum to allow our people to decide whether to proceed.”

Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie –

“The McLeod Lake Indian Band and other First Nations and non-First Nations communities here in Northern B.C. have a generational opportunity to thrive and prosper with the development of the LNG industry. These agreements represent a vote of support that moves us closer to that goal.”

Quick Facts:

  • The McLeod Lake Indian Band is a member of the Treaty 8 First Nations. They are located 140 km north of Prince George, with a population of approximately 520 members.
  • The Province has now achieved 62 agreements for natural gas pipeline benefits with 29 First Nations.
  • For the Coastal Gaslink pipeline, B.C. now has pipeline benefits agreements with 17 of 20 First Nations along the proposed route.
  • For the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project, B.C. now has pipeline benefits agreements with 16 of 19 First Nations along the proposed route.
  • In July 2015, the B.C. Legislature received Royal Assent for the Liquefied Natural Gas Project Agreement Act, which provides the legislative authority for government to enter into LNG project agreements.
  • As a member of the First Nations Limited Partnership, McLeod Lake Indian Band will also receive benefits related to the construction and operation of the proposed Pacific Trail Pipeline. The First Nations Limited Partnership consists of 16 First Nations that will share in benefits under an Economic Partnership Agreement with B.C. once construction on that natural gas pipeline project has started.
  • Pipeline benefits agreements between the Province and First Nations are separate from industry-led impact benefits agreements. Industry proponents are working directly with First Nations on their own agreements.

Learn More:

  • McLeod Lake Indian Band: www.mlib.ca/new/
  • To see a copy of the pipeline benefits agreement: ow.ly/Whddp
  • Pipeline benefits agreements between the Province and First Nations: ow.ly/VIXP2
  • More information on LNG in B.C., including the Province’s latest news, frequently asked questions, and links to LNG skills and training can be found at:engage.gov.bc.ca/lnginbc/
  • Follow the conversation on LNG using this hashtag: #LNGinBC
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