Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lax Kw'alaams reinforces position on Lelu Island project

Lax Kw'alaams has once again stressed
their opposition to any LNG development
near Flora Bank
The Lax Kw'alaams First Nation has delivered yet another strong indication that it has no intention of seeing the development of an LNG terminal as currently proposed, take place at Lelu Island, advising in a statement on Monday that an alternate site must be found if the project is to proceed.

The most recent review of the situation from Lax Kw'alaams Mayor Gary Reece, provides the latest message in the wake of contributions to the topic last week from LNG Minister and Deputy Premier Rich Coleman.

As we noted on the blog last Friday, Mr. Coleman, during a media interview as part of the LNG conference in Vancouver, offered up some comments related to the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project. Indicating that he was confident that the project would be moving forward, with Mr. Coleman also suggesting that he remained confident of working through First Nations issues related to the proposed development at Lelu Island.

Mayor Gary Reece of Lax Kwa'laams
remains opposed to any development of
LNG in the vicinity of Flora Bank
Mr. Coleman's overview for the Vancouver Sun received a rebuttal yesterday, through a media release from Mayor Gary Reece which expressed the First Nation's continued opposition to the proposed development and reinforcing its plan to seek title claim over the Flora Bank and Lelu Island region.

 “This is not about posturing for negotiations. This is about protecting our sea resources,” ... “We mean business when it comes to protecting Flora Bank and Lelu Island. And we have the support of the community because the majority of our members’ livelihoods and many of our traditions are directly connected to the sea.”

While touching on some of the current divisions with the Nine Allied Tribes, Mayor Reece noted that the majority of his community supports the position his government has taken.

The information statement also notes the main focus of the upcoming litigation over Lelu Island, that of stopping the project as it is currently designed and the commitment of Lax Kw'alaams to protecting the key elements of Flora Bank in the life cycle of salmon stocks and their relation to the Skeena River System.

“The Lax Kw’alaams people will not tolerate any threat to our sea resources,” .. “We need a proper process and good science. Lax Kw’alaams requires all projects be reviewed to a standard set by our scientists and experts. Our traditional law, backed by our scientific reports, has made it clear that Flora Bank cannot be touched by PNW or any other company that proposes development. -- Lax Kw'alaams Mayor Gary Reece on the community position related to Pacific NorthWest's Lelu island plans

You can review the full statement from Lax Kw'alaams here.

Pacific NorthWest LNG had indicated last week that the company was "shovel ready" and that they had hopes of starting the development in early 2016, once all regulatory and government permits had been granted.

More background on the Pacific NorthWest LNG project can be found here.

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