MORICETOWN, BC, Jan. 23, 2015 /CNW/ - Moricetown Band Chief and Council have opened the door to jobs, skills training and financial benefits today by entering two LNG Agreements – the First Nations Limited Partnership (FNLP) and the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Benefits Agreement with BC.
Moricetown is officially the 16th and final First Nation to enter the FNLP, a group of First Nations along the route of Chevron's Pacific Trail Pipeline (PTP). Moricetown also entered into a Pipeline Benefits Agreement with BC that will be linked to negotiations with TransCanada's Coastal GasLink Project (CGL). The agreements come after a year of intense meetings and negotiations.
"The journey has been challenging for us and hard on our community," Moricetown Chief Barry Nikal shared. "Many of our members have been hurt through this process but we now have the resources to come back together and restore our collective strength."
By entering the FNLP, Moricetown Band Members now have priority access to jobs, skills training and contracting opportunities. Separate from the two agreements and in addition to the benefits available through the FNLP, Chief and Council negotiated with the provincial government for environmental and cultural commitments to support social programs, local economic development initiatives such as the Kyahwood Mill, and language revitalization efforts.
"We are standing strong with the other fifteen FNLP First Nations, including the four Wet'suwet'en bands who have already signed on," Chief Nikal said. "I believe through the unity of our bands and the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs who have supported our decision, we can work together towards a future of prosperity and wellbeing for our people."
"My community has been part of the FNLP for over a year and I can assure Moricetown community members it is a positive step forward," Nadleh Whut'en Chief Martin Louie said. "I congratulate Moricetown for making a decision that will help to have control of the community's future of self-determination, prosperity and strong, healthy communities."
With the environmental concerns of the community in mind, Moricetown also secured a "no oil" commitment from BC and PTP that ensures the pipeline cannot be converted to carry oil without the consent of all FNLP First Nations. Moricetown also negotiated directly with PTP to establish an environmental accord to closely monitor the impacts on the territory.
Moricetown will engage in negotiations with TransCanada for the Coastal GasLink project and must complete these negotiations before it is able to fully support CGL. In addition, these agreements form a long-term working relationship between Moricetown and the Province by laying the foundation for reconciliation.
"Thank you to all the elders, Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs and passionate community members who voiced their support for our decision," Chief Nikal expressed. "Having your presence in the last crucial meetings has given Council the confidence to move forward with your support."
FNLP Benefits to Moricetown include:
- An immediate payment of $1.148 million to Moricetown Indian Band.
- Another $7 million in the near term, including $1.2 million when PTP is approved to proceed and an additional $5.22 million when the project begins operations.
- A total of $55.4 million in payments over the life of the project.
- Priority access to contracting opportunities estimated by Moricetown at $20 million, including logging and clearing, access road construction, upgrading and restoration, right-of-way and pipeline valve site restoration, preparation of work camps and stockpile sites, and security services for stockpile sites.
- Moricetown is currently a partner in Shas PTP Ltd., the company contracted to conduct clearing and construct access roads on the eastern 380 km of the PTP.
- Moricetown becomes a joint venture partner with Somerville-Aecon through FNLP, who will be constructing a portion of PTP and distributing a portion of profits among FNLP member nations. Somerville-Aecon will also provide preferred access to jobs and subcontracting opportunities.
- To date, over $425 million in contracts have been awarded to FNLP member businesses or joint ventures.
- PTP will ensure all contractors and subcontractors adhere to the PTP Local and First Nations Content Plan, which provides first access to contracting and employment opportunities to FNLP members.
- Direct access to PTP training and employment opportunities through the PTP Aboriginal Skills to Employment Partnership (PTP ASEP – a not-for-profit organization devoted to training First Nations clients for work in industries in the province. To date, PTP ASEP has trained more than 1,600 First Nations people, and over 900 have been placed in well-paying jobs. (See www.ptpasep.ca.)
- PTP ASEP training programs include skills assessment and development, competency testing, training and accreditation in heavy equipment operating, welding, electrical, pipefitting, construction trades, truck driving, carpentry, cement finishing and masonry, millwrighting, environmental technician training and environmental monitoring, and camp operations management.
Additional Benefits to Moricetown include:
- The Province of B.C. will provide $1.8 million as part of a Reconciliation Agreement to help fund social programs and will initiate a government-to-government relationship with Moricetown. The Province will also provide an additional 37,000 cubic metres of forested land to support the success of local forest products company, Kyahwood, which is a key driver of the local economy, bring the total Moricetown timber supply to 100,000 cubic metres. As well, the Province will make payments to Moricetown of $150,000 and match funds for job training up to $100,000.
- The Province and the PTP will establish an Environmental and Cultural Accord to ensure the PTP meets all 43 Environmental Assessment Certificate conditions related to Wet'suwet'en territory. The accord will include funding for Moricetown Environmental Monitors during the construction and operations phases of the project, including on site monitoring of all stream crossings and wetlands activities. Monitors will be tasked with identifying environmental and cultural issues and upholding Wet'suwet'en environmental stewardship. As well, the Accord calls for Wet'suwet'en involvement in the preparation of an Environmental Stewardship Plan, a Restoration Plan, and an Access Management Plan, including an assessment of the protection and preservation of the Burnie Shea Protected Areas. A Carbon Management Plan and an Atmospheric Benefits Agreement will be implemented to manage the GHG impacts of the project.
- The Province and the PTP will provide capacity funding to help fund communications with community members, both on reserve and off.
SOURCE Moricetown Indian Band
For further information: For media requests please contact: Gloria Murdock-Smith, Band Manager, Moricetown Band, 250-847-2133 (Office), [email protected]; Trevor Jang, Communications Officer, Moricetown Band, 250-847-2133 (Office), 250-631-7873 (Cell), [email protected]