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BC government, two northwestern First Nations agree to PNW LNG benefits

The Pacific NorthWest LNG project awaits its final investment decision. In the meantime, the BC government has agreed to give the Metlakatla and the Lax Kw’alaams First Nations a piece of the proposed pie.

The two will get nearly $144.5 million dollars for community, economic, and social initiatives.

Premier Christy Clark says those in the north will see their communities develop through the growth of LNG.

“It means a fundamental change in the way that we do business in British Columbia, finding that balance between making sure that we are growing jobs, looking after the environment, and ensuring that first nations are real meaningful partners.”

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The Lax Kw’alaams will get $98.5 million. Part of that includes $3 million for implementation and community engagement, $500,000 for communications infrastructure, and $22 million for the Trust Contribution.

In a prepared statement, Mayor John Helin of the Lax Kw’alaams Band said “After many meetings and negotiation sessions, I feel pleased we are at this stage … We have the first of its kind environmental agreement and have a benefits package that will allow us to go a long way to address the needs of our members, should this project proceed.”

The remaining $46 million will go to the Metlakatla for similar projects.

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