B.C. signs LNG benefits deals with First Nations on proposed Petronas project

Lax Kw'alaams Band Mayor John Helin speaks as Premier Christy Clark looks on during a press conference about the province of B.C. and the Lax Kw'alaams Band First Nations announcement of the construction and operation of a liquefied natural gas export industry in Prince Rupert during a press conference in the Legislative Library on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 in Victoria, B.C.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

VICTORIA - Premier Christy Clark is touting two agreements reached with First Nations on a liquefied natural gas export plant as important milestones for the project's future in British Columbia.

The Pacific NorthWest LNG project near Prince Rupert has yet to be given the green light by Malaysian energy giant Petronas, but a company official witnessed the signing ceremony today at the legislature.

Wan Badrul Hisham, Pacific Northwest LNG's chief project manager, says the deal is significant.

If it goes ahead, the $36-billion project would create up to 4,500 construction and 350 permanent jobs.

The agreements with the Lax Kw'alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation are tied to the project proceeding and include the transfer of about 3,000 hectares of land and almost $145 million.

Mayor John Helin of Lax Kw'alaams says the deal marks the first time his people have been included in developments in their traditional territories.

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