No energy project has gained community's approval yet: Lax Kw'alaams mayor
Lax Kw'alaams Mayor Garry Reece wants to make it clear that none of the multiple energy projects proposed for the North Coast have yet gained the band's approval.
Reece said the band has put together a team of science and business advisers to look at the projects, but the band is not ready to put their stamp on any of them just yet.
"Each project will be assessed on the benefits and risks that it may bring to Lax Kw'alaams. The Lax Kw'alaams membership is unified in the belief that any project must protect our marine resources and accord with our traditions and our respect for the environment," he said.
"Lax Kw'alaams is open for business on the right terms. Any partnerships we engage in must satisfy the social, economic, traditional and environmental requirements of the Band and membership ... our goal is to ensure that the projects we support are for the northwest, not just in the northwest."
One project Reece addressed specifically is the oil refinery proposed for Grassy Point by Eagle Spirit Energy. The company held a meeting in Lax Kw'alaams to discuss the project on Oct. 4, but Reece said that meeting was very preliminary in nature.
"The Lax Kw'alaams Band Council offered the company's representatives the opportunity to meet with members of the community to present their proposal. However, we want to clarify that this was not an acceptance of the proposal," said Reece.
"Eagle Spirit has no authority to enter into agreements on behalf of the Lax Kw'alaams, nor does Eagle Spirit have the authority to speak for the Lax Kw'alaams Council or membership."
As well as the oil refinery, Woodside LNG, Aurora LNG and Enbridge have expressed interest in developing liquefied natural gas at Grassy point, which is located directly across from Lax Kw'alaams.