NewsJan 22, 2019

Andy Calitz: Standing up for LNG

A few weeks ago, LNG Canada issued a media release under my signature as the CEO of the company. I have included the content of that release below. We did this because we were profoundly disappointed with the characterization by opponents to LNG development of decisions made by elected leaders of 23 First Nations to support our project as "sell outs". These are Nations impacted by the export facility, shipping route, and 670-km pipeline right-of-way. These are Nations that spent time and effort to understand the project, to provide input and to publicly support it as it went through the regulatory review process. That process resulted in both LNG Canada and Coastal GasLink, the pipeline that will transport natural gas to our facility, receiving all necessary permits and licenses, and the authority to proceed.

The name of one Indigenous group that opposes the Coastal GasLink pipeline, and by association, LNG development, has been plastered across media headlines since the beginning of January. The names that are less well known are the Nations that support LNG development in BC. I would like to change that, so I am posting the names of all the Nations that have signed Agreements with LNG Canada, Coastal GasLink and the Government of British Columbia.

At the LNG Canada export facility: Haisla Nation, Gitga’at First Nation, Gitxaala Nation, Kitselas First Nation and Kitsumkalum First Nation.

Along the Coastal GasLink pipeline right-of-way: Blueberry River First Nations, Burns Lake Indian Band, Cheslatta Carrier Nation, Doig River First Nation, Haisla Nation, Halfway River First Nation, Kitselas First Nation, Lheidli-T'enneh First Nation, McLeod Lake Indian Band, Nadleh Whut'en First Nation, Nak'azdli Whut'en, Nee Tahi Buhn Band, Saik'uz First Nation, Saulteau First Nations, Skin Tyee First Nation, Stellat'en First Nation, West Moberly First Nations, Wet'suwet'en First Nation, Witset First Nation, Yekooche First Nation.

If you're reading this article and you're a Canadian, I invite you to join LNG Canada and our many supporters to Stand Up for LNG development in British Columbia. Our project offers abundant opportunities for First Nations, local communities, young people, and women and men seeking or advancing a career in the skilled trades.

LNG CANADA'S STATEMENT FROM ANDY CALITZ

With a final investment decision made in October providing a green light to both the LNG Canada export facility and Coastal GasLink’s pipeline to proceed into construction, the years of work with First Nations, including elected and Hereditary Chiefs, municipal, provincial and federal governments, northern communities, and thousands of people working in industry in BC, came to fruition.

The level of support received by LNG Canada and Coastal GasLink has been described as unprecedented for a resource development project.

Despite opposition Coastal GasLink is currently facing, LNG Canada has every intention to continue to complete our project and maintain our construction schedule to deliver jobs and economic benefits to First Nations, local residents and British Columbians.

We are also conscious that any delay can erode confidence in British Columbia and Canada to deliver energy projects.

We recognize it may not be possible to get unanimous support for a major infrastructure project in BC, but we believe Canada’s economy cannot prosper without a growing and healthy resource sector. Projects like our own provide an opportunity that many First Nations and northern communities have not had before and may not see again.

There needs to be recognition and respect for the decisions that have been made by 25 First Nations, their members, northern communities and the individuals living there that have put considerable effort and due diligence to come to a decision to support our project.

We also respect the rights of individuals to peacefully express their points of view, as long as their activities do not jeopardize people’s safety and are lawful. We sincerely hope that relationships among Indigenous people who support and oppose LNG development in British Columbia can be mended and healed. We believe that finding a peaceful way forward is in the best interests of everyone involved.

This article first appeared on LinkedIn.

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