Friday, July 6th, 2012
(Vancouver, BC) The BC Métis Federation continues to garner the attention of industry and governments due to the continued increase by Métis communities to support the organization. This week BC Métis Federation leaders met with representatives from TransCanada to discuss their proposed Coastal Gaslink Pipeline Project.
The proposed Coastal Gaslink Pipeline Project is in the early stages and proposes to carry natural gas from northeast BC to a facility near Kitimat, BC. TransCanada was selected by Shell Canada Limited to develop an approximately 700 km pipeline to safely deliver natural gas from the Montney gas-producing region near Dawson Creek, BC to LNG Canada’s proposed liquefied natural gas facility near Kitimat, BC. TransCanada has indicated that the project could begin construction by the summer of 2015 and is now beginning community engagement.
BC Métis Federation President Henry stated, “This was an interesting first meeting. TransCanada contacted the BC Métis Federation to discuss the project and get a better understanding about our organization and the Métis communities we work with. We reinforced a couple of key points. First I reinforced that the BC Métis Federation recognizes our role is to facilitate information and create a dialogue where Métis communities and families can be better informed to understand the project and make decisions accordingly to what is best for them and their community. Second I reinforced that BC Métis Federation believes proponents, such as TransCanada, should be consulting directly with Métis communities when any project could impact their way of life. There were other items discussed but these were key items the BC Métis Federation reinforced for TransCanada.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry added, “There was a number of items we agreed to follow up and this was a good first step for TransCanada. The BC Métis Federation strongly supports economic development but an industry project has to be properly engaged with the Métis community directly. For the BC Métis Federation that means real Métis community engagement at the community level. There is no reason any provincial organization should be speaking for the communities for industry projects that could have environmental impacts. We understand that the Métis community must be in a position to consider the potential environmental and social impacts they could face if built. The BC Métis Federation can and will provide a supportive role but ultimately this is up to the Métis communities to decide whether to support or not, and then BC Métis Federation will advocate accordingly. The Métis community is where people are impacted and the communities must be included in every step of the consultation and engagement process.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded, “TransCanada representatives started the right strategy of engagement in our view by requesting to meet with the BC Métis Federation. BC Métis Federation will continue to support dialogue with TransCanada and assist this company work directly with the communities to ensure support where it belongs.”
BC Métis Federation
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You can follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis