Metlakatla has signed an agreement that will see financial and other benefits come to the community should the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) project come to fruition.
The agreement was announced by TransCanada, proponents of the pipeline that would provide gas to Pacific NorthWest LNG’s Lelu Island terminal, and the company said it is a significant step in moving the project forward.
“Achieving this agreement with the Metlakatla First Nation is a major milestone for us, particularly since it has a significant interest in the Skeena estuary and wants to ensure that the environment around the Pacific NorthWest liquefaction facility is protected. The agreement is a strong indicator of the importance we place on engaging with First Nations to ensure their input on environmental and cultural impacts is genuinely incorporated into our project, and that they benefit from the construction and operation of the PRGT pipeline project,” said Dean Patry, president of PRGT.
“We are pleased that the Metlakatla First Nation will have a role in monitoring the construction and operation of the project.”
Specific details of the agreement are confidential, but include access to employment, training and capacity development and initial and annual payments over the life of the project. It is benefits such as those that Metlakatla chief Harold Leighton said make the agreement an attractive one for the band.
“The pipeline project and the Pacific NorthWest facility will benefit our members for many years to come. We are confident that TransCanada will work diligently to ensure our way of life and the environment, and in particular Lelu Island, will not be negatively affected by the project,” he said.
Metlakatla joins seven other First Nations along the pipeline that have signed an agreement with TransCanada, including the Doig River, Halfway River, Yekooche, Gitanyown, Kitselas, Lake Babine and Nisga’a nations.