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Federal minister visits Haisla amid Cedar LNG negotiations

Canada has committed to the project, but discussions around details are ongoing

Active negotiations are ongoing regarding Canada's financial contribution to Cedar LNG, aiming to support its construction and operational phases. 

Cedar LNG, situated in Kitimat within the Haisla Nation's traditional territory, is designed to be one of the world's lowest-emitting LNG facilities. It will utilize renewable electricity from BC Hydro and leverage existing infrastructure such as the Coastal GasLink pipeline and a deep-water port.

"We are in active conversations with Pembina and Haisla First Nations. We are saying today that we will support the project, but discussions are still ongoing," federal minister of innovation, science and industry, François-Philippe Champagne told Black Press Media during his visit to Kitamaat Village on Tuesday, July 8.

"The whole region of Haisla, Kitimat and Terrace is seeing a boom with LNG Canada. This is the kind of project we want to see where there are all the elements supporting attracting investments in British Columbia." 

Collaboration among all the levels of government was made easy Champagne said because of the strong advocacy of Haisla Chief Councillor Crystal Smith. 

"Chief Crystal is an amazing leader and she has been able to gather everyone that she needed around. This is how projects should be done where everyone comes to the table and provides support," he said.  

Haisla however had to make some 'difficult choices' as Smith said regarding the technology chosen.

"In our experience in being a part of many different proposals for the LNG project, we saw some of them chose technologies that necessarily wouldn't benefit the environment. So, as a Cedar LNG board, one of our first decisions was making choices around technology and to ensure we were respecting our environment and holding our project to a higher standard than any other project that was being developed in our territory," she said. 

Haisla First Nation chose a system that would be powered by electricity as opposed to gas drives. 

"It was very difficult to get all the pieces of the puzzle together, economically," Smith added. 

The Cedar LNG project is a joint venture between the Haisla Nation and Pembina Pipeline Corporation, with the Haisla Nation holding majority ownership at 50.1%, and Pembina Pipeline Corporation holding 49.9%.

Among other attendees were also Pembina's Chief development officer Stu Taylor and chief legal and sustainability officer, Janet Loduca.

The Cedar LNG project is projected to create up to 500 jobs during peak construction and approximately 100 full-time positions once operational. It is valued at a total estimated cost of US $4 billion and is slated to begin in 2028. 

The minister's visit included a symbolic boat tour of the Douglas Channel and a view of the future site of Cedar LNG's floating LNG facility, along with a closer look at LNG Canada in Kitimat.


Prabhnoor Kaur

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