Dear Haisla Members:
RE: KM LNG Lease Agreement – Ratification on November 17, 2010
It is with deep regret that I could not be in attendance for the KM LNG lease ratifaction last night, as I have recently suffered serious medical health issues and I am under Dr. instructions for bed rest for the next week or so.
I am confident in our team of Councilors, our Economic Development team, our legal advisor, Mr. Allan Donavan, and I send my thanks to our Deputy Chief Councilor Margaret Grant for stepping in to Chair the Kitamaat and Terrace information sessions in my absence.
As you are all aware, this has been a long journey in reaching this point with KM LNG. The membership’s ratification of Bees IR #6 designation in 1997 to become an industrial site and the ratifaction and acceptance of the KM LNG and Haisla Nation Impact Benefits Agreement in 2006 has certainly led the way. One of the most important aspects of this negotiations process, was in 2005, where KVC convinced KLNG to relocate their project from Emsley Cove, to now Bees IR #6, where it ensures that the Haisla Nationwill collect the rent and taxes which will be substantial over term of the lease, should our members vote in favour of this on November 17, 2010.
It has been metioned that it was previous councils that laid the groundwork for KLNG to locate on our Bish Reserve by designating Bish as an industrial site. The Council that did the majority of the designation of Bish was the council of 1995 term and deserve recognition for their efforts. KVC on behalf of the Haisla Nation thank the 1995 Chief Councilor Robert Robinson and his council; Elaine Stewart, Greg Smith, Ron Smith, Ken Hall, Gary Morrison Sr., Dolores Pollard, Albert Robinson, Harold Williams, Harvey Grant Sr., Louise Barbetti. This vision this council had in 1995 helped to make today possible.
Our present Chief and Council would also like to acknowledge the past Chief and Council since the early days of Chief Heber Maitland’s leadership to the Council who served until 2009, who had foresight and determination to pave the road for this venture, and especially to you, the membership, for supporting these efforts to finally realize one of the first ever ventures of this kind for the Haisla nation.
Over the past 15 months this Council and its negotiators have been working diligently on your behalf to forge forward, in making this partnership with KM LNG a reality. We have had many discussions and debates as a team, as a Council, and of course with our proponents in attempting to finalize the last steps to realizeation of this agreement on your behalf. In the process of reaching this point, our council and team have maintained that the success of this or any ventures depends on our ability to ensure that we make decisions based on the ‘common values and principles’ of our membership, and the personalities of who negotiated this agreement, who supports individuals, or who likes or dislikes who. The KM LNG agreement has been negotiated for the ‘collective’ Haisla membership and or future generations, as true and effective governance will depend on our ability to put the principles and values of the ‘collective’ Haisla Nation ahead of individuals and personalities of politics.
This unique agreement ensures that we, as a Haisla Nation, have finally established ourselves as no longer being spectators to our local economies, as we were with Eurocan, Methanex, and even RTA; it reassures you and future generations that we are now active participants in this local economy, finally with “a share and a say“. One of the first ever agreements with Industry of its kind!
As your elected Chief Councilor, I encourage that we continue to interact in a respectful manner, as we remind ourselves, that our children are watching and learning from our actions and words. I encourage you all to make your decisions based on the principles of this agreement and not the personalities of who is here, who is not, who you like, or who you don’t like. This agreement is not personal, it is of our belief that it is of benefit for the collective Haisla Nation, today and tomorrow.
In closing, I am reminded that from the outset, we had the late Chief Heber Maitland, advocate, and demand a “share and a say” in our local economy, and today, we are one step closer to that realization. I will be voting YES to this lease agreement on November 17, 2010, because it brings us one step closer to finally realizing a true “share and a say“, for you the Haisla members, and for our future generations of Haisla to come. Thank you
Aixs gwa las,
Elected Chief Councilor
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