Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Lax Kw'alaams to host Members Only Community Info sessions on Pacific NorthWest LNG

Residents of Lax Kw'alaams will soon have four opportunities to learn more about what the Lax Kw'alaams Band Council has to say about the Pacific NorthWest LNG project.

Last week, the Lax Kw'alaams government announced its plans to host community information sessions on the theme in four locations through June, with the sessions set for Northwest BC and Vancouver.

The proposed LNG development proposed for Lelu Island has been a major issue for the community over the last few years, with the newly elected government led by Mayor John Helin recently indicating that it could be reversing some of the previous council's opposition to the development.

That surprising development first came to light through a letter to the CEAA in March when the Lax Kw'alaams Band outlined that if the federal agency approved the potential development, that the Lax Kw'alaams would support that decision, but with the need for two key elements to be included.

As part of that document, Lax Kw'alaams officials noted the conditions for support were related to Environmental monitoring and enforcement that they want included as part of the Environmental Assessment Decision Statement.

Since that correspondence to the CEAA was made public there has been much in the way of discussion and differences of opinion on the issues, both among those living at Lax Kw'alaams and for those members living in other communities.

Though when it comes to the nature of the shift in position from the Band Government, there has been little in the way of public comment, or information shared by the Lax Kw'alaams Government with the public to this point.

One area that remains a key part of the focus of that discussion related to the LNG proposal, is the current presence of the occupation group on Lelu Island, a situation that has provided for another topic that has delivered little in the way of public comment from community officials.

Some of that may change by the end of the month following the four community sessions, a string of engagement opportunities which will be limited to Lax Kw'alaams members only.

The events take place according to the following schedule:

June 27 -- Lax Kw'alaams -- Recreation Community Centre 7 to 9 PM
June 28 -- Prince Rupert -- The Highliner Inn,  815 1st Avenue West, Tsimshian Room 7 to 9 PM
June 29 -- Terrace -- Best Western Terrace Inn, 4553 Greig Avenue, 7 to 9 PM
June 30 -- Vancouver -- Croatian Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive, 7 to 9 PM

Doors open at 5:30 PM for Registration at all events

Notice of the four meetings was posted to the Lax Kw'alaams website last week

In a facebook post from earlier this month Band officials note that Band members will be receiving updates and materials prior to the hosting of the information sessions in each community.

Judging by the comments that followed that entry to the Band's social media posting, the interest will be high for each of the four sessions, with community members already weighing in on the need for more background information.

For the Band Council, the discussions to take place later this month should provide the Lax Kw'alaams government with an indication as to whether they have gauged the community reaction correctly, or if there will be the need for another shift in direction when it comes to the theme of LNG development.

You can review some of the background to events at Lax Kw'alaams from our archive page here.

An overview of the lengthy list of material related to the proposed LNG development can be found from our archive page here.

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