Lake Babine is the latest First Nation in northern British Columbia to sign a pipeline benefits agreement with the province.
Lake Babine Nation has traditional territory along the proposed route for TransCanada's Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) natural gas pipeline project.
The agreement signed with the Province ensures the economic growth generated by the pipeline, and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export industry in B.C., will benefit their membership.
"We are witnessing increasing First Nations' support for LNG because of the transformational opportunity it represents for their communities," said John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. "In addition to financial benefits agreements, we're working with nations throughout the North on related opportunities. This includes working with nations on environmental stewardship projects and a new Aboriginal skills training fund developed as part of B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint."
If the proposed project proceeds, Lake Babine Nation will receive approximately $3.56 million in one-time payments from the Province as milestones are reached: $324,000 when the agreement takes effect, $1.62 million as construction begins, and $1.62 million when the pipeline is operating. Lake Babine Nation is also entitled to a share of $10 million a year in ongoing benefits for First Nations along the pipeline route.
Pipeline benefits agreements with First Nations are part of the B.C. government's comprehensive plan to partner with First Nations on LNG opportunities, which also includes developing skills training and environmental stewardship projects.
The Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project would run 900 kilometres from near Hudson's Hope to Port Edward, coming through the Pacific Ocean to its final destination after making its way through the Nass Valley.
"This project meets Lake Babine Nation's conditions for consent: it can be built in a way that is safe for our territory and resources; it has been developed and will be built with our meaningful involvement; and it will bring significant economic benefits to our people. Lake Babine Nation looks forward to a successful PRGT project," said Lake Babine Chief Wilf Adam.