BCMF and TransCanada Discuss Proposed Coastal Gaslink Pipeline Project

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.”

Keith Henry
BC Métis Federation
#300-3665 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC, V5R 5W2
Office 1-604-638-7220
Cell 1-778-388-5013

You can follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis

Download this press release in PDF format



3 Responses to BCMF and TransCanada Discuss Proposed Coastal Gaslink Pipeline Project

  1. Free Metis July 7, 2012 at 2:20 am #

    I find this all so interesting….but where are the meetings to have Metis hunting/fishing/gathering and trapping rights being addressed? If you spend any time at all in our communities, as I’m sure you have, you will notice this question is almost always number one in the minds of the common Metis people.

    Why do none of our provincial and national organizations makes this a priority? To hunt, fish, gather and trap is an integral part of Metis lifestyle and culture, as it is for all aboriginal people’s of Canada. How is it possible that the silence is so pervasive when our provincial governments make it illegal for us to practice our culture? They no longer stifle FNs potlatches but they force us to abandon some of the very fabric of who we are!

    Should oil and gas be our first priority? If you really want to capture the attention of Metis people, fight for our RIGHTS. :-).

  2. Keith Henry July 8, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    Thank you Free Metis,

    You are absolutely right and I hope people out there are not thinking BC Metis Federation are interested in oil and gas.

    As you know we just held a series of community meetings between March to May and we were focusing on two main objectives; a survey on Metis governance and views about the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines. We know how importance protecting the Metis traditional practices are, which is primarily our harvesting practices as you point out. One we are doing this is making sure any projects that are being put forward by any industry must consult and talk with the community directly and our press release here reinforced this.

    Please know this is fundamental to our work. We understand and as a strategy one of the critical items that has to be fought and corrected is the current Provincial Government policy on Aboriginal consultation. The Province continues to state the Metis do not have rights in BC and this guides industry and dangerous government policies that affect these traditional practices.

    Please know we will get there…

  3. Russ Roy July 8, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Free Metis, I agree with you 100%.

    In all my reading and studies there is nowhere in history, where a Metis organization has stepped forward to have the Crown or Government of Canada define under Section 35, our definition and Metis rights as an Aboriginal people in Canada as the Inuit have already done.

    Now, this would really be something for the Metis people across this land to see.

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