The Conference Board of Canada released “A Tide of Opportunity: Liquefied Natural Gas Development in BC and its Impact on Indigenous Communities” that while reducing the conflict between traditional hereditary chiefs and elected band councils to “governance” issues at least acknowledges that “The LNG sector and Indigenous communities in B.C. are working to invest in addressing these historical, traditional, and legal aspects in order to realize the full social, environmental, and economic benefits associated with LNG expansion. The problem – and challenge – is that all the members of the First Nations LNG Alliance who partnered with the Canadian LNG Alliance only represent the elected band councils.
The report was funded by the Canadian LNG Alliance an advocacy group of corporate oil and gas companies:
- Kitimat LNG – Chevron Canada and Woodside Petroleum
- LNG Canada (Shell, PetroChina, Korea Gas Corporation and Mitsubishi
- Woodfibre LNG (Pacific Oil and Gas)
- Woodside Energy Limited (Australia)
- Fortis BC (Triton LNG (AltaGas, in partnership with Idemitsu Kosan
- Enbridge Inc.
Coastal GasLink has committed to spending $1 billion of its $6.6 billion budget on Indigenous employment.
The report shows that opportunities for Indigenous communities stemming from the growth of the B.C. LNG sector include:
- job creation;
- training and capacity building;
- closing the wage gap;
- ownership and equity positions in projects and related infrastructure;
- capacity for Indigenous entrepreneurs to establish new businesses to serve the sector; and
- long-term revenue streams for Indigenous communities to fund the revitalization of language and culture, and to maintain and expand community services.
The Conference Board of Canada report also outlines other significant examples of Indigenous participation in the industry to date, including:
- TC Energy awarded Indigenous and local companies across Northern B.C. $870 million worth of contracting and employment funding.
- Coastal GasLink negotiated procurement with every Indigenous partner along the pipeline’s route.
- Through the Woodfibre LNG project, the Squamish First Nation received over $4 million in procurement opportunities with BC Hydro.
- The First Nations Limited Partnership is a $500-million commercial partnership by and for First Nations who, together, negotiated and concluded a commercial benefits agreement regarding the PTP.
- Kitimat LNG has awarded Haisla Nation businesses about 85 per cent of construction spending.
- HaiSea Marine, a joint venture between the Haisla Nation and Seaspan ULC, was awarded a $500-million contract to provide tug services to LNG carriers. HaiSea Marine will train and employ approximately 70 Indigenous people as mariners and onshore roles.