Development of LNG export facilities at Grassy Point near Prince Rupert took another step forward with the signing of two revenue-sharing agreements with the Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla First Nations.
“These agreements demonstrate our commitment to reconciliation and to working together with First Nations and proponents for LNG success,” said Premier Christy Clark. “LNG presents a generational opportunity for First Nations and all British Columbians to grow our economy, create jobs and strengthen our communities.”
The revenue-sharing agreements with Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla First Nations share a portion of provincial government revenues from Sole Proponent Agreements (SPA) related to the Grassy Point lands, and proponents Aurora LNG and Woodside. The Grassy Point lands have been identified as the potential site for new LNG export facilities and the SPAs give the proponents the exclusive right to move forward with activities to inform planning for LNG development.
“I applaud the vision and commitment of the Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla leadership and their communities,” said Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad. “This kind of collaboration with First Nations will underpin the economic security of their communities now and in the future and create greater certainty for the First Nations, industry and government.”
By signing these revenue-sharing agreements, the two First Nations signal their support for co-operating in respect of prospective LNG development at Grassy Point. They also address Crown consultation and accommodation, and measures to manage challenges of Crown decisions related to activities identified in the agreements.
“British Columbia is working quickly to ensure it is a leader in LNG development,” said Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman. “Partnership with First Nations, government and industry will play a key role to ensure B.C. is in a strong position to compete in this new global market place.”
The provincial government has negotiated these revenue-sharing agreements with these two First Nations because their communities are located near the Grassy Point lands.
“We want to make sure our voice is heard when it comes to development within our traditional territory,” said Chief Harold Leighton, Metlakatla First Nation. “These LNG revenue-sharing agreements are a good demonstration of what can be achieved when we approach development in the spirit of partnership and collaboration.”
“Our goal is to make sure our community has access to the right opportunities, through economic development, education and social development,” said Mayor Garry Reece, Lax Kw’alaams First Nation. “Working with government and with these proponents on revenue-sharing is positive progress in our drive to ensure LNG has real, tangible benefits on the ground in the Northwest.”
These two reconciliation agreements are the 23rd and 24th economic benefit agreements reached with First Nations since the BC Jobs Plan was launched in 2011. They are also the fifth and sixth of the 10 new non-treaty agreements B.C. has committed to reaching over the next two years. These agreements support economic growth and job creation both for First Nations and for neighbouring communities.