Do you support economic development in Indigenous communities?
The Coastal Gaslink pipeline project, is an underground transmission pipeline that will connect natural gas plays in northeastern B.C. with LNG Canada in Kitimat on the west coast.
There seems to be a misinformation campaign going on that wants us to believe Canadian Indigenous communities don't support the project. However, the truth is that ALL of the 20 Indigenous along its route are officially in support of the project:
Stellat’en First Nation
Saik’uz First Nation
McLeod Lake Indian Band
Saulteau First Nations
Kitselas First Nation
West Moberly First Nations
Lheidli T’enneh First Nation
Nadleh Whut’en Indian Band
Burns Lake Indian Band (Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation)
Blueberry River First Nations
Halfway River First Nation
Doig River First Nation
Wet’suwet’en First Nation
Yekooche First Nation
Nee Tahi Buhn Indian Band
Skin Tyee First Nation
Witset First Nation
This unprecedented level of support wasn't given without good reason. This project is going to do some great things for these communities.
Up until now specific benefits that each First Nation will receive have for the most part been kept out of the public eye. However, an agreement has surfaced which states the Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nation for example, would receive:
- Annual legacy payments over the lifetime of the pipeline project
- “General project payments” in three installments
- Education and training in addition to employment opportunities
Courts have revealed further details for others. One Wet’suwet’en band member and business leader, in a court judgment, discussed how his community had a $75 million deal for construction camp facilities for the Coastal GasLink pipeline project that could employ up to 80 people.
In total, the benefit agreements signed between Wet'suwet'en and Coastal GasLink are worth an estimated $338 million. Furthermore, several contractors employed on the project are Wet'suwet'en members. That's why despite all the negative media attention and sensationalized protests the Wet'suwet'en - and all the other Indigenous communities - are behind the project:
This project will bring BILLIONS of dollars of investment to Canada
The above mentioned benefits are part of why both the federal and B.C. governments have also put their support behind the $6.6 billion, 670-kilometre long project.
But this project isn't just good news for Indigenous communities. It is a clear win for ALL Canadians.
The Coastal GasLink pipeline is an essential component for a larger liquefied natural gas (LNG) strategy. All told, Coastal GasLink is going to help enable $40 billion of investment in ethical LNG development. That investment is the single largest private sector investment in Canadian history, and it will create thousands of jobs for hard working families.