After Northern Gateway received government approval last year, we were very clear in stating that we still had more work to do in achieving further First Nations and Métis support.
Although this work is ongoing, we are already seeing tangible progress in additional equity, environmental assessment, and employment and skills-training agreements. We are also very pleased with the success of our First Nations and Métis Community Communications Representative Program that is building community dialogue through grassroots communications and feedback.
As stewards of the land, First Nations and Métis communities have a direct role in the environmental protection of lands and waters along our pipeline corridor and in marine operations. The involvement of these communities will also include input into the design of land and coastal emergency response operations.
We believe First Nations and Métis peoples should be owners of projects on their lands and territories and should benefit directly from such projects. That ownership will result in long-term financial dividends, jobs, educational and economic opportunities, and will ensure that First Nations and Métis communities can directly contribute their traditional knowledge to make projects better and safer.
Despite this litigation hearing, we remain committed to working collaboratively with the applicant First Nations and would be very pleased to develop mutually beneficial solutions with them. Northern Gateway is open to change. We will continue to adapt and address First Nation and Métis concerns as they arise and seek opportunities for meaningful, respectful dialogue with all groups.