rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Corporation offers $1 billion to First Nation to support LNG development

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Artist's conception of the Pacific Northwest LNG terminal on Lelu Island

The Malaysian-based energy company Petronas is offering $1 billion dollars to the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation in British Columbia to secure their support for the proposed $36-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert. The B.C. government is supporting this by offering to transfer 2,200 acres of land, valued at $108 million, to the First Nation.

The Canadian Press reports, "The B.C. provincial government and Petronas have offered a $1.15-billion benefits package to the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation on British Columbia's northwest coast in a bid to win support for a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline. ...An information bulletin published on the Lax Kw'alaams' website notes the proposal includes $27.8 million for signing and preliminary agreements, construction and startup projects. Annual payments would start at nearly $13 million and end with $50.5 million in year 40, for a total of just over $1 billion, it adds."

The Globe and Mail reports, "Thirteen months ago, the Lax Kw'alaams issued a scathing report that accused the Petronas-led Pacific NorthWest LNG project of ignoring aboriginal concerns about salmon habitat in northwestern British Columbia." And a community backgrounder notes that if the project proceeds Lelu Island will be effectively off bounds to Lax Kw'alaams members, that they won't be able to harvest traditional plants and medicines, that as many as 432 culturally modified trees could be destroyed, and that associated pipeline on the seabed could alter access to traditional fishing grounds and contaminate salmon habitat through dredging.

Targeted funds of less than $29 million are being offered as financial "compensation" for the fisheries, as well as for road paving, scholarships and training programs.

The members of the First Nation will vote in the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation on May 4-5, in Prince Rupert on May 6-7, and in Vancouver on May 11-12.

It should also be noted that in September 2014 Petronas threatened to cancel the project after the B.C. government announced a 7.0 per cent tax on net income from LNGs. The provincial government later backed down and instead introduced a 1.5 per cent tax while corporations are recovering capital investments and net operating losses. Eventually they would be subject to a 3.5 per cent tax, still half of what was originally proposed.

The Council of Canadians is opposed to LNG terminals and pipelines given the associated fracking, water abuse, environmental damage and climate impacts that would result from them. For example, the Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal would release an estimated 5.28 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

For more on our opposition to the LNG agenda, please click here.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.