As the Lax Kw’alaams band heads to court seeking title to Lelu Island in order to prevent construction of the Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal, a group within the Gitxsan Nation is filing a legal challenge to the pipeline that would supply gas to the terminal.
The Luutkudziiwus, a Gitxsan Nation House Group, filed a legal challenge to the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project on Oct. 14, saying the project does not have approval to cross 34 kilometres of their traditional territory and was approved without the necessary consultation.
“We are taking the government to court over the lack of consultation, inadequate baseline information presented, a weak and subjective impact assessment, and the current cumulative effects from past development. People from all over northern B.C. are now outraged about the $40 billion Petronas LNG project. It is unbelievable that they claim they consulted with us,” said spokesperson Richard Wright, noting the goal is to have the B.C. Supreme Court cancel the environmental assessment certificate and BC Oil and Gas Commission approvals for the project.
“The province has been stealing from our territory and culture for 150 years, and this needs to end. The proposed pipeline and LNG project is in deep conflict with core Luutkudziiwus interests and values,” said Hereditary Chief Lester Moore.
The announcement of the legal challenge was made by Luutkudziiwus representatives in Vancouver on the same day as Premier Christy Clark was scheduled to address delegates of the 2015 International LNG in B.C. conference, a fact that was anything but coincidental.
“Our Madii Lii territory is not to be played with by the province of BC in their LNG game. Clark’s LNG dream is a nightmare for us. While she tries to maintain a shiny picture of LNG in their conference this week, the reality is that First Nations are being bulldozed, and we have had enough,” said Hereditary Chief Charlie Wright.
A representative for TransCanada, the company hired to construct the pipeline declined a request for comment.