20 Elected First Nations Councils Seek Stake in Coastal GasLink Pipeline
A group of 20 elected First Nations councils was expected to present a bid this week for a 22.5% share in TransCanada Corporation’s contentious Coastal GasLink pipeline, which would connect fracked gas fields in Dawson Creek, British Columbia to the massive LNG Canada export terminal in Kitimat.
The pipeline route passes through traditional Wet’suwet’en Nation territory where the Unist’ot’en protest camp tried to block construction of a work camp earlier this year. Five of the 20 elected councils in the First Nation Leadership Group (FNLG) are from the Wet’suwet’en Nation, the Globe and Mail reports.
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“First Nation Leadership Group (FNLG) said having elected band councils serve as co-owners of Coastal GasLink would strengthen the C$6.2-billion project,” the Globe states. “Members of FNLG, including Haisla Nation elected chief councillor Crystal Smith, will meet with CGL officials on Tuesday in Vancouver to discuss the proposed investment in the pipeline project. Dan George, chair of the First Nations LNG Alliance and elected Burns Lake band chief, will also be among the Indigenous leaders attending the meeting.”
“This proposal will not inhibit CGL [Coastal GasLink]’s ability to raise capital for the initial phases of project activities in 2019, and provides a genuine opportunity for the FNLG to explore mutually beneficial partnership and investment opportunities with CGL,” the bands wrote in a letter to TransCanada.
In a statement Monday, CGL officials said they “are aware and pleased to see First Nations interest in investing in the project,” adding that “it’s early in the process and we are exploring all our options in securing project financing.”