TC Energy Corp. has announced option agreements signed with 16 First Nations along the route of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern B.C., to sell a 10 per cent stake in the project that will deliver natural gas to the LNG Canada export terminal at Kitimat.
The company announced the agreements Wednesday, along with Chief Corrina Leween of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Chief Justin Napoleon of the Saulteau First Nations. The equity agreement includes 16 of the 20 Indigenous communities along the pipeline route that already have business partnerships with the project.
“For years we have watched industry and governments generate revenues from the operations of their projects, while we live with the impacts,” Napoleon said in a joint statement with the company March. 9. “This investment in Coastal GasLink will finally start to shift the landscape, aligning industry and Indigenous peoples’ interests over the entire life cycle of a project.”
Leween, a member of the CGL First Nations Limited Partnership management committee, said the agreement is “a historic milestone” for the Indigenous communities in the region, the first time they have been included as owners in any natural resource project in their territories.
Earlier this month, Coastal Gaslink announced that the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, in a joint venture with Macro Pipelines, was awarded the prime construction contract for section five of the pipeline. A similar contract was awarded to Ledcor-Haisla Limited Partnership in May 2021.
“We recognize that enduring relationships need to include long-term economic opportunities that support the resiliency of Indigenous communities,” said Bevin Wirzba, president of Coastal GasLink.