PRINCE GEORGE, BC, Jan. 22, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today emphasized the importance of creating enduring opportunities for Aboriginal communities through responsible resource development in his keynote speech at the 12th annual Premier's BC Natural Resource Forum luncheon.
Enhancing Aboriginal engagement in all aspects of resource development is a key component of the Government's plan for Responsible Resource Development, which offers a comprehensive approach to creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity while strengthening Canada's environmental protection.
On behalf of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Minister Rickford announced a number of new initiatives through the Strategic Partnerships Initiative to help Aboriginal communities participate in B.C.'s natural resource development, realize economic development opportunities and protect the environment:
- An investment of almost $3.5 million over three years for the New Relationship Trust for the Aboriginal Labour Market Community Navigators initiative. This project will create stronger linkages with training institutions to help Aboriginal Peoples obtain the skills they need for jobs such as those in the liquefied natural gas sector. The Government of British Columbia is also a key partner in the initiative, helping with its initial design as well as supporting its implementation.
- An investment of $85,800 to support skills training by the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association. The funding will help provide participants with skills training and short-term certifications for trades-related employment opportunities in the energy sector.
- An investment of $25,500 with the Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance for a restoration project with fish habitat and aquatic resources in the Upper Fraser Watershed. The project will include collaboration among three First Nations groups: the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC), the Tl'azt'en Nation and the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation.
Earlier today, Minister Rickford met with the CSTC's Tribal Chief Terry Teegee to discuss the fish habitat restoration project, as well as issues relating to the CSTC's participation in energy infrastructure development.
- The natural resource sector directly and indirectly accounts for 1.8 million jobs and almost one-fifth of Canada's economy.
- The oil and gas industry's contributions to Canada's economy add up to almost 7.5 percent. The industry currently employs almost 200,000 Canadians directly and an equal if not greater amount indirectly, including 170,000 in oil and gas construction alone.
- The Conference Board of Canada estimates that potential growth in British Columbia's natural gas sector alone could attract $180 billion in new investment and create 54,000 jobs per year between 2012 and 2035.
"Responsible resource development can transform communities, create enduring opportunities for First Nations and lead to sustainable growth for generations to come. Our government is partnering with First Nations and industry to develop our resources responsibly and enhance training and employment opportunities for First Nations youth."
The Honourable Greg Rickford
Canada's Minister of Natural Resources
"Our government is committed to working in partnership with its partners to strengthen their engagement and participation in energy projects, as well as to enable them to take advantage of the economic opportunities they create. These types of investments will lead to greater participation of Aboriginal Peoples in the economy, healthier Aboriginal communities, and a stronger Canada."
The Honourable Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
"B.C. is taking a comprehensive approach to partnerships with First Nations on liquefied natural gas opportunities, including the development of skills training and environmental stewardship projects. Through Navigators and other programs, we are pleased to work with the Government of Canada in achieving this goal. Access to well-paying jobs, economic growth and collaboration on the development of a long-term environmental legacy are all part of the opportunity for First Nations."
B.C.'s Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
"The New Relationship Trust is pleased to continue to build capacity with B.C. First Nations through the Aboriginal Labour Market Community Navigator project. Seven Community Navigators will coordinate directly with industry, public institutions, government and existing skills/training organizations to support First Nations employment aspirations in the potential LNG market."
Chief Executive Officer, New Relationship Trust
"We are pleased to partner with the Government of Canada in the Trades Access Program. Driven by the vision of First Nations leaders to see First Nations engaging fully in trades and technical occupations, our Association works diligently to bring together partners to build a skilled and prepared workforce. This is particularly true of growth sectors such as energy, mining, forestry and construction, each projecting employment growth for skilled trades and technology workers."
Executive Director, Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association
"The UFFCA is pleased to lend its strengths in facilitating collaborative opportunities between and among upper Fraser First Nations, engaging in regional initiatives and interest groups with similar conservation and restoration focuses. The Fisheries Habitat Restoration Initiative supports this role and effectively demonstrates a commitment to maintaining and/or improving the sustainability of the Fraser River fish stocks, which in our view is integral to building First Nations' support for energy development."
Executive Director, Upper Fraser Fish Habitat Restoration Project
Aboriginal Labour Market Community Navigators
Trade Access Training
Upper Fraser Fish Habitat Restoration Project
Responsible Resource Development - http://eap.gc.ca/en/content/r2d-dr2
Final Report of the Special Federal Representative on West Coast Energy Infrastructure
Major Projects Management Office - West http://mpmo.gc.ca/west/projects/216
SOURCE Natural Resources Canada
For further information: Alexandra Lemieux, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, 613-996-2007; Emily Hillstrom, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, 613-992-4447; Media Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 819-953-1160; Lisa Leslie, B.C. Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, 250 213-7724; The general public may contact: Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EST, Telephone: 613-995-0947, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow us on Twitter: @NRCan (http://twitter.com/nrcan); NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media