First Nations in the region call federal government approval of the Pacific Northwest L-N-G project on the north coast,a “sad day” for their communities, and are vowing to continue fighting the project. Band members are concerned about the impact a plant to be built in the area could have on salmon and plan to work together to protect the sensitive ecosystem. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says there are 190 legally binding conditions attached to the approval for the 36-billion dollar project that will ship 19-million tonnes a year of liquefied gas to markets in Asia.
The reaction to the federal government’s decision to approve the Petronas’ PacificNorthwest liquefied natural gas pipeline project is not positive among First Nations along the line. The pipeline will carry LNG from Fort St. John to a terminal on Lelu Island. And the Chief of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Terry Teegee says that will be the first hurdle.
“The environment in terms of the Skeena salmon, it’s where a lot of the juvenile salmon begin to grow. So, it’s going to be a very hotly contested area,” he says.
The Province has touted the project as a major economic driver for the province. But Teegee says the job creation for First Nations is weak.
“Well there’s job opportunities but, even there, it’s limited to 1 to two, maybe three, years in construction . Beyond that, the pipeline route is very limited in permanent jobs.”
He believes, given the 190 conditions and the weak commodity markets for liquefied natural gas, the project is “not looking good.”