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Request to extend Northern Gateway sunset clause submitted to NEB
Northern Gateway and the 31 Aboriginal Equity Partners, as represented by four Stewards, have filed a request with the National Energy Board for a three-year extension to the sunset clause to allow the Project the time needed to receive legal and regulatory certainty and to continue important discussions with First Nations and Métis communities. More time is required to advance dialogue with coastal communities in northwest British Columbia.
The sunset clause is a condition on the Project that stipulates when construction must begin. Northern Gateway, the Aboriginal Equity Partners and other Project proponents are fully committed to building this critical infrastructure at a time when Canada needs it the most, project representatives said.
“Northern Gateway believes projects like ours should be built with First Nations and Métis environmental stewardship, ownership, support and shared control. Based on collaboration with First Nations and Métis peoples we are building a project partnership in a way and on a scale that has never been done before. This is a true partnership between industry and First Nations and Métis peoples.," said John Carruthers, Northern Gateway President, in a statement. "Northern Gateway has changed. We are making progress and remain open to further changes. We believe this is the right course of action for Northern Gateway and the right thing to do as Canadians. We know this process requires time and we are committed to getting it right.
"Our priority is to continue to build respectful relationships with First Nations and Métis communities. From the beginning, Northern Gateway should have done a better job of building relationships with First Nations and Métis communities, particularly on the west coast of British Columbia. While we had the right intentions, we should have done a better job of listening and fostering these critical relationships and developing our plans together as true partners.”
New Partnership with First Nations and Métis Peoples:
Since receiving approval for the Project, Northern Gateway has worked with the Aboriginal Equity Partners and a number of non-equity partner communities where negotiations are advancing, including a number in Coastal British Columbia, to achieve the following improvements to the Project:
- First Nations and Métis environmental stewardship and monitoring using traditional science
- Shared ownership and control with First Nation and Métis communities which will see:
- Enbridge and Project proponents reduce their ownership in order to increase total available First Nation and Métis ownership from 10% up to 33%
- A joint governance structure where Project proponents, First Nations and Métis owners, and Enbridge have an equal voice
- Enhanced benefits - doubling from $1 billion to $2 billion for First Nations and Métis communities
- Northern Gateway is seeking to jointly design with coastal First Nations and governments a global best practice spill response capacity that reflects the unique nature of British Columbia’s North Coast making it safer for all vessels
- Advancing dialogue and negotiations with several terrestrial and coastal First Nations communities
Statement from the Aboriginal Equity Partner Stewards (Bruce Dumont, President, Métis Nation British Columbia; David MacPhee, President, Aseniwuche Winewak Nation; Chief Elmer Derrick, Gitxsan Nation Hereditary Chief; Elmer Ghostkeeper, Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement):
Today, as the Stewards of the 31 Aboriginal Equity Partners, we affirmed our support for the Northern Gateway Project and jointly signed the formal request to the National Energy Board for a sunset extension. This is the first time a project certificate holder has made a joint application to the National Energy Board with its First Nations and Métis partners. This is a reflection of the new partnership that we are building together.
The Aboriginal Equity Partners is a unique and historic partnership that establishes a new model for conducting natural resource development on our lands and traditional territories. We are owners of the project and are participating in Northern Gateway as equals. This ownership ensures environmental stewardship, shared control, and negotiated business and employment benefits. Collectively, our communities stand to benefit from more than $2 billion directly from this Project.
There is a misconception that there is no First Nations and Métis support for Northern Gateway. This is not true. In fact, support for our Project has grown from 26 to 31 communities over the past two years and is continuing to grow.
Our communities need the economic and business benefits that Northern Gateway can bring. We are focused on ensuring our communities benefit from this Project and are actively involved in Northern Gateway’s decision making so we can protect both the environment and our traditional way of life through direct environmental stewardship and monitoring. With our influence and guidance, Northern Gateway is changing and we are taking a leadership role. The process of change based on First Nations and Métis collaboration will continue.
Our goal is for Northern Gateway to help our young people to have a future where they can stay in their communities with training and work opportunities. We remain committed to Northern Gateway and the opportunities and responsibilities that come with our ownership. We also remain committed to working with our partners to ensure our environment is protected for future generations.
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