November 20, 2014 3:09 pm

Deal reached between First Nation, gas company, to build pipeline near Prince Rupert


VANCOUVER – The Nisga’a Nation has signed a benefits deal with the company planning to build a natural gas pipeline through 85 kilometres of their lands.

The Nisga’a Lisims Government passed a resolution late last month, authorizing their president to execute the agreement with the subsidiary of Trans Canada Pipelines.

If it goes ahead, the gas line would stretch from Hudson’s Hope in Northeast B.C. to the proposed Pacific Northwest LNG export terminal on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert.

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The Nisaga’a Nation will get annual payments for having the pipeline on their land, along with profit sharing, property tax and access to the LNG pipeline if they want to establish a plant themselves. That could create about 250 jobs in the region.

The province says the Nisga’a Nation will receive approximately $6 million at various stages in the project: $1 million upon signing the agreement, $2.5 million when pipeline construction begins, and $2.5 million when gas starts to flow.

The pipeline will also bring natural gas to homes in the area.

Malaysia’s Petronas is expected to make a decision on whether or not to proceed with the project before the end of the year.

Protesters from the Nisaga’a Nation also attended the signing, saying it was wrong to sign the deal with the company.

“We do not consent to this,” said one protester. “I represent about 20 people in my family who were not consulted.”

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