Lake Babine Nation signs LNG deal

The Lake Babine Nation has signed an agreement with the Province to receive economic benefits from a TransCanada LNG project.

The Lake Babine Nation has signed an agreement with the B.C. Government to receive economic benefits from TransCanada’s proposed Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline project.

If the LNG project goes ahead the First Nation will receive payments totalling about $3.56 million, including $324,000 when the agreement takes effect.

The rest would be provided in stages, with $1.62 million when construction began and $1.62 million when the pipeline started operating.

The Lake Babine Nation, which is about 142 miles west of Prince George, would also be entitled to a share of $10 million annually for First Nations along the pipeline route.

Agreements have already been signed with First Nations leaders in Gitanyow, Kitselas and Nisga’a.

Chief Wilf Adam said the project met the Lake Babine Nation’s conditions for consent.

“It can be built in a way that is safe for our territory and resources; it has been developed and will be built with our meaningful involvement; and it will bring significant economic benefits to our people,” said Adam.

Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad said First Nations support for LNG was increasing because of the “transformational opportunity” it represented for communities.

“In addition to financial benefits agreements, we’re working with nations throughout the North on related opportunities,” he said.

“This includes working with nations on environmental stewardship projects and a new Aboriginal skills training fund.”