Haisla, Canada, BC formalize key agreement for Kitimat LNG project to proceed
Tomorrow in Vancouver I will sign a regulatory agreement with Canada’s Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Hon. John Duncan, a representative of British Columbia, and the operators of Kitimat LNG that is essential to that project proceeding on Haisla reserve land (IR #6) at Bish Cove.
The agreement relates to the Haisla Nation Liquefied Natural Gas Facility Regulations, which were approved by the federal Cabinet under the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act (FNCIDA). The Agreement gives the provincial government the authority to administer and enforce federal regulations for projects on IR # 6, and ensures that on and off-reserve projects, LNG facilities in this case, are subject to the same regulations (environmental, etc.) and enforcement. This combined with council oversight; the environmental provisions of our lease and Haisla Business Operations environmental technicians will ensure that the project abides by the highest standards.
Neither the Regulations nor the Agreement give the Province authority to legislate over our reserve lands and neither changes the status of our reserve lands. Rather the Regulation adopts selected provincial laws to apply as federal laws over IR #6 and the Agreement sets out the method for enforcing these laws.
It allows KM LNG to proceed in a predictable way with clear regulatory oversight for the proponent, the Haisla community, and the general public.
The LNG development on the Bees Reserve will cost the proponents billions of dollars. The Regulation and the Agreement were proposed and negotiated by Haisla Nation Council in order to create the certainty necessary to maximize the chances that this project will be built.
The Haisla Nation is the only First Nation in British Columbia to have successfully negotiated an FNCIDA regulation and implementation agreement. If constructed, the Bees LNG facility will be the most valuable on reserve industrial facility in Canada.
We are pleased that Canada and BC have acted in a way that so clearly benefits the Haisla people.
Sincerely,Ellis Ross Chief Councillor Haisla Nation Council