An agreement has been signed between the Kitselas First Nation and TransCanada.
The deal is an important milestone in the 900 km Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) pipeline project, as the Kitselas First Nation has been negotiating with TransCanada for the last few years.
Though the particular details of the agreement cannot be released, Kitselas Chief Joe Bevan said that they include immediate payment upon signing, long-term contributions to the First Nations group over the course of the project, training initiatives, and the hearing of environmental issues or concerns.
“Even though the pipeline does not run through our traditional territory, it does affect our traditional marine harvesting areas,” said Bevan. In particular, the environmental concerns were on how the proximity to the pipeline would impact the seabed and access to traditional harvesting areas.
“We were happy with the way negotiations went,” said Bevan. “TransCanada is an outstanding corporate citizen. They worked with us hand in hand to develop some trust as well, so that goes a long way for us.”
TransCanada has also signed deals with the Gitanyow and Nisga’a First Nations, the latter being most directly affected as the pipeline is going straight through their territory.
The pipeline, which has yet to receive regulator approval, would deliver natural gas from near Hudson's Hope in northeastern B.C. to the proposed Pacific Northwest LNG facility at Lelu Island, off the coast near Prince Rupert.
Edited from sources by Elizabeth Corner
Sources: Kelowna Now, Vancouver Sun