Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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New Measures To Encourage First Nations Engagement in Energy Projects Announced in Prince Rupert

Laryn Gilmour

The federal government will set up a major projects management office in BC to try to woo West Coast First Nations on the myriad of energy projects proposed in the province.

Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford was in Prince Rupert yesterday, where he said Ottawa will also establish a forum with the BC government and First Nations to work toward aboriginal participation in energy developments. Both measures were recommended by federally-appointed consultant Douglas Eyford.

Lax Kw'alaams Mayor Garry Reece, who attended the announcement along with Metlakatla Chief Councillor Harold Leighton, expressed his enthusiasm for the plan, but also reinforced that his people don't want an oil pipeline running through their land.

"I know there was oil mentioned and my people have stood up against oil, they don't support that. They aren't satisfied with information that there is going to protection on that and to this day, they still haven't changed from that," Reece said.

The measures announced yesterday are designed to promote engagement which will ensure First Nation involvement in West Coast energy projects in areas such as employment, business opportunities and tanker and pipeline safety systems.

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