chrity first nations agreement on LNGVictoria: The revenue-sharing agreements with Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla First Nations were signed early this week. BC govt. is upbeat at the signing of these to agreements and believes that these are step forward in the ongoing LNG development.
“These agreements demonstrate our commitment to reconciliation and to working together with First Nations and proponents for LNG success,” said 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 John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.
“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,” said Chief Harold Leighton, Metlakatla First Nation.
“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. 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.
The Province will continue to work with industry and First Nations communities to ensure lasting benefits are achieved as the LNG industry
Earlier, New Democrat jobs and labour critic Harry Bains had said in a statement in response to the release of the LNG working group report , “In 2011 Christy Clark released a jobs plan without any plan for skills training and apprenticeships. For three years New Democrats have been pushing the government to make sure the investment in skills training is there so British Columbians are ready to work when those jobs are created.
“Now the premier is finally acknowledging that it’s time to catch up by focusing more on skills training and apprenticeships and by bringing government, labour, industry and First Nations together to make sure British Columbians are ready to work.
“Unfortunately, because she’s late to the game, she has admitted we’ll have to rely on temporary foreign workers because we won’t have enough British Columbians trained for those jobs. That means we won’t see the full benefits of an LNG industry.
“In fact, this government dismantled our apprenticeship training system in 2004. This government is not just playing catch up – they actively set us back.
“If the premier had put a real priority on skills training and development instead of wasting millions on ads trying to convince people she had a sound plan, we’d be in a better position today to capitalize on jobs for British Columbians.”