AUGUST 2014 • VOL. 1, ISSUE 5
BEST Huckleberry’s Mine Rescue Crew
Burns Lake’s Industrial Transformers
Vanderhoof mining company does it the right way
Kitsault mine scheduled to re-open in 2017
Fort St. James project turns devastation into energy
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Publisher Todd Hamilton Editor-in-Chief Shaun Thomas Prince Rupert Ed Evans, Sales Lisa Thomas, Sales Quinn Bender, Reporter Martina Perry, Reporter Terrace Rod Link, Editor Brian Lindenbach, Sales Bert Husband, Sales Erin Bowker, Sales Kitimat Louisa Genzale, Sales Cameron Orr, Editor Smithers Grant Harris, Sales Nick Briere, Sales Ryan Jensen, Editor Houston Mary-Anne Ruiter, Sales Jackie Lieuwen, Reporter Burns Lake Laura Blackwell, Sales Steven Maisey, Editor Fort St. James/ Vanderhoof Pam Berger, Sales Jessie Cole, Reporter N2K CONTACT INFO:
Vanderhoof Fort St. James Burns Lake Houston Smithers Terrace Kitimat Prince Rupert
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hile the mainstream media continue to bang away at industry by focusing its soundbites and headlines on the stories that divide and seemingly on the loudest person behind a megaphone, at N2K we continue to discover the untold stories of industry. Invariably, these untold stories highlight a burgeoning Northwest B.C. sector that not only promises vast social and economic benefits, but one that is already delivering. The economic benefits are obvious and the social benefits are powerful. Unfortunately, these social benefits are often relegated to the status of footnotes with major media or are simply ignored. Our mission is to inform Northwest B.C. readers and leaders about the incredibly positive stories tied to industry that continue to come from this region. At the same time we hope to illuminate and educate those who live, work and play here of the stunning changes we are seeing in corporate culture, industry best practices and innovation. In this, our fifth issue, N2K’s Quinn Bender reports on a Burns Lake company that is the epitome of a family success story. Industrial Transformers — a heavy duty repair shop that has carved out a niche for itself in Northwest B.C. — was created by and for family. Rod Link tells us about Freda Campbell’s wonderful story on how she battled distances and circumstance to obtain her business degree and land a top job in her traditional lands at the new Red Chris Mine. Jessie Cole discovered that there is life after the pine beetle — green life. Cole filed a story on the Fort St. James Green Energy Project that is taking waste and beetle-destroyed wood to produce energy with immense environmental benefits. Bender again found another untold story about how New Gold, quietly and with little fanfare, went well beyond what was necessary to protect mountain caribou. And Ryan Jensen tells us about what the Northwest has at the ready should the unforeseen occur in his article about B.C.’s best mine rescue team at the Huckleberry mine near Houston. We hope you enjoy this issue of N2K, because you do Need To Know the real stories of Northwest B.C. industry. Todd Hamilton N2K Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org
Out-of-area subscriptions now available e-mail: email@example.com View our e-version for free at: www.thenorthernview.com/eeditions
Volume 1 • Issue 5
IN THIS ISSUE
FAMILY AFFAIR Burns Lake’s Transformers
BIG TIME PLAYER The 411 on Kitimat’s 101 10
TANKER TRUTH What makes LNG tankers safer 12
THAT’S AVANTI New life for Kitsault mine
DOORS OPEN Port Edward ready for industry 16
COVER STORY Huckleberry’s rescue team
BRIGHT FUTURE Bill Lomax 31 BALANCE STRIKING Port Authority 33
CARIBOU CARE Newgold goes above and beyond 20
GREEN LINING Good comes from bad beetle 23
ECO SPANNING Cleaning up in the culvert
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AFFAIR By Quinn Bender
iming, skill and ambition are of course necessary ingredients for an overnight success story. But if you ask Kathy Waters, there’s one more element needed to simply make it worthwhile. “We’re all family. We’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished and I don’t think we would have done it if we weren’t all family.” Twenty years ago Kathy’s husband Doug Waters made the easy decision of hiring his son, Ron, and nephews, Richard and Matt, straight from high school to work as mechanics at his Burns Lake contracting company. Two decades later, that decision would provide the foundation for one of the Northwest’s more exciting business developments. Where family businesses are
concerned, Industrial Transformers, a full-service heavy duty repair shop, is a prime example of how these unique relationships can foster success.
A family of partners For almost 15 years the three young mechanics worked alongside Doug and Kathy, perfecting their trade and coming into sync with one another’s work habits and ethics. Early on, the family crew understood they worked well together.They hatched a fragile idea to open a heavyduty repair shop as equal owners. See Page 7
N2K PROFILE • INDUSTRIAL TRANSFORMERS FAMILY
“And then we all decided we missed each other.” - Kathy Waters They surveyed some properties but, due to side businesses and timing, the idea never took off. Fortunately for them, the timing would present itself 20 years later with no barriers to prevent the idea from forming into instant, unimaginable success. Until then, one by one, Ron, Richard and Matt, now in their 30s, would venture out on their own and earn their own reputations as reliable and talented independent professionals. “And then we all decided we missed each other,” Kathy said. “We worked together so well, we wanted to come back together. This was the dream we had many, many, many years ago.” It would be a partnership of eight couples, one family: Doug and Kathy Waters, Richard and Wendy Wainwright, Matt and Amy Wainwright, and Ron and Heather Waters.
Seizing the opportunity For more than a decade heavy machinery operators in the Burns Lake area had been forced to travel out of town for repairs, either 80 kilometres west to Houston or 130 kilometres east to Vanderhoof. The Waters and Wainwrights understood the opportunity this presented in a region brimming with logging trucks and industrial activity. What followed next happened fast. When Lakes District
Maintenance (LDM) moved out of its industrial park location to a new facility, Richard rushed over and secured the site. Renovations were made. Tools were brought in. An opening date was set. “Because LDM already had this building, they had already put in all the pollution controls, there was two overhead cranes, between everyone we already had most of the tools. We’ve put in a lot of work to build office space, but everything really had just fallen into place,” Kathy said. All that was needed was a name. As fans of the Transformers film franchise they settled on the fun but evocative image. As one of their first projects, the family prides itself on the transformation of a 290 Volvo Dirt Excavator a customer felt was too light for a mine ready machine. They merged it with the undercarriage of a 320 low mileage, rigged-out heavy duty excavator. The customer was ecstatic. If the challenges of a new business is attracting customers, the opposite was true for Industrial Transformers. “We were very pleasantly surprised at the need,” Kathy said. “We knew it existed, we knew it was real, but we didn’t know that three days before we even opened our doors people were already rolling in. We hit the ground running. It was crazy how busy we were.” See Page 8
N2K PROFILE • INDUSTRIAL TRANSFORMERS FAMILY The powerhouse shop now employs 14 people and includes a broad range services: Repair and maintenance with Red-Seal Certified mechanics, service trucks for on site work, low-bed service to transport equipment to the shop, heavy duty services from routine maintenance to large-scale repair projects and even a shop to install stereos. There’s also a commercial vehicle inspection service with authorized inspectors through the CVSE Branch, a busy welding shop, a line boring machine to straighten axles and a plasma cutter that will fabricate parts straight from images. “The plasma cutter is a huge opportunity for us, because otherwise it’s something you would have to send far far away to have done,” Kathy said. “There’s not too many service shops that have that. We’re pretty aggressive.”
A shop full of independent-thinkers Because each family member is formally self-employed, the company collective has an inherent streak of progressive, competitive thinking, despite being the only full service repair shop in the area. Thanks to Doug’s 35-year background in logging, the company also provides construction service and site preparation. A project management division rounds off the services. Since opening its doors, the company has picked up several major maintenance programs for outfits including
“We wouldn’t have thrown ourselves back into this if we weren’t working with family.” - Kathy Waters
Arrow, CN and the Red Chris Mine. A full-time mechanic is also stationed at the mine site. Industrial Transformers will undoubtedly be a fixture on the Burns Lake landscape for a very long time. It’s a legacy that could not have been made were it not for one family’s resolve to work as a team, and work well. “As my husband and I are kind of the seniors here, we were going into semi-retirement. We wouldn’t have thrown ourselves back into this if we weren’t working with family. This was because we could all help each other. And we did. My son and my nephews, who we care about very much, if we could do something that would help put them on the map we would. All together we made a fantastic team.”
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Playing with the
BIG BOYS KITIMAT’S 101 INDUSTRIES: looking back to move forward By Quinn Bender
t’s easy to look ahead at the wealth of business opportunities rising in the Northwest, but one Kitimat company is finding it wiser to first look back—at its origins, reputation and loyalties—and never lose sight of that as they move forward. “You always want to remember that these new opportunities, these industrial opportunities, have a finite timeframe,” said Mark Harnadek, construction manager with 101 Industries. “But we’ve seen throughout the province and the world that that timeframe can become quite short if a client decides they want to stop a project. We’ve been in business an awful long time, and we know that in order to maintain a good, strong business [we must] maintain what got us to where we are.” 101 Industries opened its doors in 1968 as a sheet metal, plumbing and roofing contractor. The name was a patriotic nod to 101 years of confederation. In 2014 there’s no quick way to describe the comprehensive list of services 101 now provides. With loyal clientele and calculated expansion they’ve reimagined the company to be a full-service contractor for the industrial, residential and mechanical sectors. They handle roofing, structural steel and heavy industrial installation, as well as sheet metal, cladding systems, HVAC — the list goes on. “We do sink repairs for the little old lady down the street, mechanical installations for the large industrial players and everything in between,” said general manager Thom Meier. 101 founder Willie Meier never gave up one market to reach into one more lucrative. That philosophy, to build then respect client loyalty, has helped 101 become one of the Northwest’s largest contractors. And its current management team still employs the founding philosophy while reaching in to the new economy. With a firm foundation in Kitimat, 101’s most significant expansion to date isn’t held together with nuts and bolts, but with
“We’re very happy and very proud that we can stick-handle with these guys.” - Mark Harnadek paperwork and protocol. Working with multinational companies comes with a stringent criteria for how a contractor can interact on a technical basis, be it either documentation, quality assurance, or quality control. 101 has spent the past two years learning this process and adapting a division to meet the opportunity head on. For a local contractor that doesn’t travel the world in tandem with the multinationals, it’s a huge achievement. “We’ve created some really good documentation that we can rely on, and lean on, to give a good record that satisfies the most discerning and technical client,” said Meier. “We’ve elevated our ability to provide quality assurances to an international level. And I can say quite assuredly that there isn’t another contractor locally, that I’m aware of, that can give that same kind of QAQC [quality assurance and quality control] capacity.” By all means, 101 is a successful residential and commercial service-sector contractor—that is still the foundation of the business. But now, as an industrial specialist too, the company has seen nothing but growth since adapting to the protocols of the region’s largest projects. “We’re very happy and very proud that we can stickhandle with these guys,” Harnadek said. “We don’t shy away from new opportunities and new growth.”
Standing by our promises It’s easy as a company to make a promise that your project will be built safely, and with high regard for the environment.
People are understandably concerned regarding impacts to local ways of life during construction. The company notes that their eventual LNG Canada worker accommodation village will be built in Kitimat’s industrial area and will have a number of services to reduce impacts to the main community. Community safety during the project’s operation is another concern that has been voiced. LNG Canada is committed to meeting the strictest regulatory and operational standards for safety, and they’ll develop emergency response plans with local agencies. The company also says they’ll develop a comprehensive housing strategy to help minimize impacts on housing in the community, which will include an easily expandable worker accommodation village, working with local developers to see new housing stock created in the community equivalent to the project need, and supporting the Kitimat Housing Action Plan that is currently being led by the province.
Following through on that promise is the hard part, but one that all major projects must do, and LNG Canada is embracing that task with passion and energy.
From June 24 to July 15 this year, LNG Canada embarked on its latest round of community consultation, which began with a community open house which featured the unveiling of their 3D site model, and continued with a number of small group meetings.
What we gathered during this most recent consultation period will go a long way towards helping us further develop our plans.
“Since we were last out in the community, we have been working to develop updated project information, including the design of the facility, ways we can work together to address concerns we have heard, and identify additional areas for community input,” said Susannah Pierce, LNG Canada’s External Affairs Director. “What we gathered during this most recent consultation period will go a long way towards helping us further develop our plans.”
On the matter of increased shipping through north coast waters, LNG Canada says the ships will meet international standards, and tugs will escort ships through inland waters. They’re also going through a voluntary technical review that seeks to identify recommendations to support safe shipping. And not to worry that the marine environment will be left out when the project is formally reviewed; LNG Canada has included inland shipping routes as part of the Environmental Assessment scope. The list above is but a taste of what they’ve heard and what’s being done about it! For more in depth information, visit them online at lngcanada.ca. LNG Canada’s desire to hear from the community obviously doesn’t end with this consultation period; they welcome input from anyone with something to share. If you want to reach out your best bet is to e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Onlookers surround LNG Canada’s 3D project site model during an open house at their community information centre.
LNG Canada hopes to build their liquefied natural gas facility in Kitimat, but plans like these take many years of studies and engagements with stakeholders. It will need input from the town and area to make sure they get it right. It is important to the company that it hears the hopes, concerns and ideas of the local community as it prepares its application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate. The assessment, conducted by the provincial government through the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO), is a crucial step as they work towards their end goal of building a liquefied natural gas facility in Kitimat. In the company’s proposed timelines, the Environmental Assessment application is expected to be complete sometime in the fall of 2014. But to date, what has LNG Canada heard exactly, while talking to the community? A number of things.
This space is a collaborative promotional venture by LNG Canada and N2K Editor Cameron Orr
Don’t judge the book by the cover LNG TANKERS: Backups for the backups By Shaun Thomas
“LNG carriers hold one of the best safety records in the shipping industry.”
Before docking at any hey say looks can be port in the province, LNG deceiving and that tankers are boarded by a could well be the local B.C. marine pilot who case for the tankers that are gives detailed information proposed to carry liquefied on navigation as the ship natural gas (LNG) from the approaches shore and meets North Coast to markets in - Madeline Whitaker control tugs at a point the Asia. pilot deems additional vessel You wouldn’t know it to control necessary. look at the metal exterior of the ship, but there’s a lot of “Under the positive control of tugs and pilot, and distance between the water and the product being carried with additional guidance provided by the Marine Traffic aboard the massive vessels. “For an LNG carrier, there will be three layers of barrier Control System, the vessel is maneuvered at very low speeds into or away from its berth,” said Sproule, adding between the product and the sea. Double-hull carriers the captains themselves have to go through a rigorous have two complete layers of watertight hull surface, with program before taking the helm of any ship. the inner hull typically four metres (13 feet) inside the “In addition to the marine certifications required to outer hull. The inner hull and outer hull is filled with ballast water as required for stability purposes,” explained operate a commercial vessel, LNG carrier officers require training and certification unique to handling and carrying Pacific NorthWest LNG senior corporate affairs advisor LNG as cargo. LNG officers must pass succeeding levels of Spencer Sproule. certification and cannot progress to the next level without But the double-hull feature is just one of the safety features of modern LNG tankers, both while at sea and at meeting specific time periods of experience.” The result of this attention to detail has given liquefied the terminal. natural gas tankers a safety record beyond reproach. “Our vessels have double hulls and primary and “LNG carriers hold one of the best safety records in the secondary cargo containment systems, as well as proven shipping industry. According to the Centre for Liquefied onboard safety systems that include gas detection and Natural Gas, LNG carriers have made more than 135,000 low temperature monitoring, heat and fire detection and voyages without major accidents, safety or security emergency response systems,” said BG Canada viceproblems, either in port or at sea,” said Whitaker. president Madeline Whitaker. “LNG has been safely transported to markets around “The safety design will also ensure that the loading the world in LNG carriers for over 50 years. There have operation will stop automatically for each storage compartment of the carrier before reaching the maximum been more than 71,000 loaded voyages without loss of cargo through either accident or equipment failure, and allowed level. In the unlikely event that a spill occurs due more than 151,000 million miles traveled without a major to a storage compartment overfilling, an alarm will be triggered and the automated system will take over to shut incident,” noted Sproule. You can’t judge a book by its cover and the record of down the operation. Any LNG remaining in the loading safe transport and use of enhanced technology show there system will be contained until loading resumes,” noted is more to LNG tankers than meets the eye. Sproule.
Avanti Moving Forward “It’s great to be involved in a local project like this ...” - Mike Edwards By Rod Link
ix years after it bought the site of a former molybdenum mine at Kitsault on the North Coast, Avanti Mining is working up to what it expects will be full-on construction starting next year for a revived operation to open in 2017. The work being done this summer and into fall, which follows intensive periods of drilling and exploration and thousands of pages of studies leading up to federal and provincial approvals and an economic benefits deal
signed with the Nisga’a Nation, consists of building a four kilometre road to where the mine’s planned main processing plant will be. As well, site clearing and preparation for an accommodation camp will be done. “It’ll be of the same standard as a forest service road,” said Avanti chief operating officer Jeff Lowe of the gravelled access road, which will branch off of an existing forest service road. See Page 14
Your Way Up • Daily direct ﬂights to Vancouver, Kelowna, Prince George and others • Regular scheduled ﬂights to BC’s mineral resource region along Highway 37, including Dease Lake and Bob Quinn • 7,500 ft of paved runway
• New LPV approaches for lower landing limits • Airport land available for lease and for sale • Multiple airport-based helicopter and ﬁxed wing charter operations
“There’s good opportunity for training of Nisga’a people and we’re looking forward to being involved with local people.” - Mike Edwards Bear Creek Contracting Work at the plant site includes expanding the current 50-person exploration camp to hold 150 people and preparing the ground for permanent facilities such as a kitchen, rec centre and offices, he said. Road construction is being done through a contract let to Hobiyee and Bear Creek Contracting Joint Venture made up of Bear Creek Contracting of Terrace and Nisga’a-owned Hobiyee Management Ltd. “We’d like to get as much of that work done as possible in order to put in those facilities when they are ready,” Lowe said. Mike Edwards from Bear Creek described the road project as exciting in two respects. “It’s great to be involved in a local project like this and we’re excited about our partnership with Hobbiye,” he said. “There’s good opportunity for training of Nisga’a people and we’re looking forward to being involved with local people.” The work now underway is part of a multi-pronged plan for next year’s start of actual construction which, at the peak, will employ 700 people. Avanti has hired AMEC, a mines engineering and consulting company, to prepare the detailed kind of drawings and specifications needed. “Having that detail is pretty important as we start soliciting quotes from manufacturers,” said Lowe. “As we get into summer you can expect us to start signing some pretty major contracts.” The objective, said Lowe, is to have “everything fit together like a glove” starting next year. Plant site earthworks and powerline work starts this fall. Avanti is forecasting a 14-year mine life employing 300 directly, but additional drilling at the location has officials optimistic of extending operations. Concentrate produced at the site will be shipped south of Kitsault on a forest service road before turning east on the Cranberry Connector then south on Highway 37 South to Highway 16 at Kitwanga for the journey to port facilities at Vancouver. From there it will be shipped to overseas smelters. Avanti already has an agreement with a German firm to buy half of its production and an agreement with a major South Korean steel manufacturer to buy another 20 per cent of its production.
Those kinds of agreements go a long way in negotiations now underway for the company to line up the approximately $1 billion it needs in construction capital and then working capital during the mine’s early operating life before it can establish cash flow, says Avanti chief financial officer Graham du Preez. The off take agreement (50 per cent of production for the life of the mine) with German steelmaker Thyssen Krupp, comes with an additional advantage for Avanti. Based on the amount of its product to be sold and consumed within Germany, the German federal government has agreed to provide a loan guarantee of up to $300 million of any debt undertaken to finance the project. “For a junior resource company like Avanti, that makes a huge difference and gives the project credibility,” du Preez said of the financial groundwork already in place. “The Korean off-take agreement in particular makes the project attractive to Asian financiers as well,” du Preez added. Avanti’s Kitsault deposits also contain an amount of silver, leading to the possibility of selling that as one way of raising capital. “There are companies that would be willing to pay a percentage up front in this type of streaming transaction,” said du Preez. The ability to sell a byproduct further adds to the kind of innovative financing junior resource companies need to undertake to move their projects forward, he said. A successful start-up by Avanti will be the third time molybdenum has been mined from Kitsault. The second attempt in the late 1970s resulted in a town being built but production ceased in 1982 when the market for molybdenum, which is primarily used in steel alloys, collapsed.
Todd Hamilton photo
Staky-ya Suecroft, 11, from W.L. McLeod Elementary School in Vanderhoof concentrates while using the excavator simulator as part of the New Gold mining education program. The simulator provides new learners with a hands-on experience and helps existing operators hone their skills. It can take many years for heavy equipment operators to develop a high level of proficiency and simulators significantly reduce learning time and help address B.C.â€™s shortage of skilled labour.
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the little town that could ... and did By Shaun Thomas
t may not seem that municipal leaders in a community with fewer than 600 people would be as busy as the larger cities of the Northwest, but don’t tell that to the District of Port Edward. With the eyes of industry turning to the North Coast as the closest Canadian gateway to Asia, a lot of those eyes are falling squarely on the small town approximately 15 kilometres from Prince Rupert. Some of that attention does have to do with Pacific NorthWest LNG’s proposed $11-billion LNG export terminal on Lelu Island, which falls within the district’s boundaries, but a critical component of that interest has to do with a vision created by mayor and council more than a decade ago. “Many years ago we started going to the Crown to acquire land to be ready for industry, not knowing what industry would be coming. The thought was that if it were owned by the district, the process to begin operations could be faster,” explained Mayor Dave MacDonald, who is in his second term after serving many years as councillor. “The whole concept was that we didn’t have much land for industry, so we went and started buying it.” Much of the purchased land sat dormant and unused for years on end, but the plan has begun to pay off in spades. The district was singled out by Premier Christy Clark in her speech to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities in 2013 as proof of the potential of the developing LNG industry, and in the past year the municipality will have sold approximately $5.7 million in land. “It makes us feel good that we are able to offer the land to industry, but it also shows the foresight of past councils as well as the council of the day,” said
“The whole concept was that we didn’t have much land for industry, so we went and started buying it.” - Mayor Dave MacDonald MacDonald, noting the money is making a difference for the entire community. “It’s not self-gratifying, it’s good for the people of Port Edward.” That sense of being open for business extends beyond the sale of land. The district recently revised its Official Community Plan to create more certainty for industry, passing a bylaw allowing parcels of land to be rezoned more quickly if the project is something short-term — such as worker accommodation or industry related to major project construction — and offers its community centre for industry use at little to no costs. “We have always been open to anyone using our community hall for open houses or for something that may be of interest to the members of the community ... with development, we know some are for and some are not, but we will always do what is best for the people of Port Edward,” said MacDonald. For the District of Port Edward, foresight and an openfor-business attitude have created limitless possibilities. “We have always said, ‘come talk to us’. If people have industry they want, we invite them to sit down and talk with us,” said MacDonald.
BEST Huckleberryâ€™s Mine Rescue Crew
Providing safe and efficient service to Northwest BC for over 60 years
4265 Bristol Road, Terrace BC 250-635-2430
By Ryan Jensen The Huckleberry Mine Rescue Team won the Three Person First Aid component for the third year running at the 59th annual B.C. Mine Rescue Competition in Smithers. Also for the third time, Huckleberry Mine coach Dwayne Allen was honoured as the Best Coach in the Three Person First Aid event. Huckleberry Mine Rescue Team captain Cliff Yuen said the members felt a little bit more pressure performing in front of a home crowd, but never forgot the basics of teamwork and cooperation. See Page 18
“In order to have a sustainable industry, it has to be safe ...” - Al Hoffman Chief inspector of B.C. mines
“It was a different scenario than we were used to dealing with,” Yuen said. “But we stayed focused and were able to get the task completed well.” Because of a shutdown at Huckleberry Mine, the team only had five days of practice compared to their usual schedule of 16 over the last year. Teams compete in either surface or underground events. In underground mine rescue, teams are tested on skills such as firefighting, first aid, obstacles and recovery. On the surface, judges mark teams in areas such as extrication, rope, fire fighting and first aid. The Three Person First Aid event has teams perform a demonstration of basic first aid skills in a simulated emergency. Teams qualified for provincials at the zones, which happened at the Town of Smithers Public Works yard. Al Hoffman, chief inspector of mines for B.C., said Smithers has been an important mining hub for many years and that it was a great location for the competition to be held. Sitting in the stands in between events, he said he continues to be impressed by the hard work put in by the teams. “In order to have a sustainable industry, it has to be safe and part of that is having people who are highly-trained
and ready to attend to emergencies that do happen at mine sites occasionally,” Hoffman said. “It’s a critical part of health and safety.” Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett also watched the provincial competition intently. Mining is a huge business in his Kootenay East riding and he said he knows the time and energy that goes into training these teams of professionals. “I have five coal mines in my own riding,” Bennett said. “I’m just so impressed with the dedication of these teams. This is a big, big deal. Although mining is the safest heavy industry in Canada, there are enough accidents that these people know they need to take it seriously. Partly because of its excellent safety record, Bennett said mining has an important place in the future of B.C. “Mining is without a doubt one of the three most important industries in the province because of the high wages and because of how safe the jobs are,” he said. “It’s an incredibly strong industry for communities and it’s a real community-building industry. “It’s really an exciting industry where people get up in the morning and believe that they’re going to be successful.” With hundreds of extra people in town for better part of a week, Colin Bateman, Smithers and District Chamber of Commerce president, said the event had a very positive effect on the community. “[The economic impact] is pretty huge,” Bateman said. “The hotels were all filled and the restaurants and downtown would have benefited too.” Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach said mining has always been an important part of the landscape in the Bulkley Valley and he appreciated seeing first hand how serious these companies take safety. “There are a lot of families in the Bulkley Valley who rely on mining and I think it’s reassuring to see how seriously the industry takes safety,” Bachrach said. Smithers also hosts the B.C. Mine Rescue and Three Person First Aid Competition in 2015. “I think for everyone involved, it gave us some ideas for next year of how we can do an even better job of rolling out the red carpet for the teams that are visiting,” said Bachrach. “Next year is the 60th annual mine rescue competition and I think it’s an opportunity to really put on a big show and showcase our community.”
Northern Gateway approved Source: Gatewayfacts.ca
“We have much more work to do ...” - Janet Holder By Todd Hamilton, with files from Tom Fletcher
he federal government has approved Enbridge’s $6.8 billion Northern Gateway oil pipeline project subject to 209 Joint Review Panel conditions and five provincial conditions. “We’re pleased by their decision to accept the recommendation of the Joint Review Panel — an approval that was grounded in sound science and fact. But we have much more work to do yet to meet the 209 JRP conditions and the five conditions of B.C.,” Janet Holder, a Northern Gateway spokesperson, said.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has emphasized that it is in the national interest to open a new pipeline route to the Pacific Ocean to carry Alberta oil sands bitumen and break the Canadian oil industry’s dependence on U.S. markets. The decision followed Enbridge’s earlier pledges to improve the project’s safety with thicker steel and other measures along the 1,177-kilometre route. The twin pipelines would carry 525,000 barrels per day of diluted bitumen from the oil sands west to Kitimat and send condensate to act as a thinning agent east to Alberta.
A proposed liqueﬁed natural gas facility located on Lelu Island within the District of Port Edward. Paciﬁc NorthWest LNG would generate signiﬁcant beneﬁts for northwest British Columbia and the rest of the province. • 330 new careers operating the facility • 300 local spin-off jobs • 4,500 construction jobs at peak activity • $1 billion in new annual revenue for local, provincial and federal governments • Contracting opportunities for local and regional businesses Visit www.PaciﬁcNorthWestLNG.com to learn more about the project and follow our progress.
Canadian Energy. Global Reach.
By Quinn Bender • Photos by Lisa Thomas
hen New Gold acquired the Blackwater project from a junior mining company in 2011, they inherited the common task of safeguarding a protected animal species. But in a response that’s anything but common, they more than met the minimum standard for the mountain caribou that use the area for their winter range. The Blackwater Project is a an open pit mine with an anticipated annual yield of 507,000 ounces of gold and 2,039,000 ounces of silver in its 17-year lifespan. It’s expected the project will require 1,500 workers during construction and 500 full time employees during production. The mine site, located 110 kilometres southwest of Vanderhoof, falls squarely within the Omineca region,
which supports approximately 40 per cent of the world’s habitat of mountain caribou, the highest density anywhere on the planet. Because of their association with old forests and their vulnerability to the effects of human activity in their range, mountain caribou are a species of great concern to habitat managers worldwide. Needless to say, it caused New Gold some concern when they learned the site’s existing facilities, its tailings pond and the access road, all had the potential to interfere with the animals’ passage. It would all have to be moved. “There’s a large expense involved in doing these things, but at the end of the day it’s the right thing to do,” said Tim Bekhuys, director of environment and sustainability. Although the mountain caribou winter range is protected
under the province’s Forest and Range Practices Act, New Gold went beyond the basic protections by first establishing a Caribou Management Plan during the exploration phase. This ensured the two objectives — a prosperous mine and a safeguarded species — were intricately connected from the outset. It resulted in a workable plan to avoid all contact with the winter range during critical periods of caribou migration. To do this, some major expenses would have to be made. After the tailings pond and facilities left by the junior mining company were relocated, the most significant alteration, upon approval of the mine plan, will be to relocate the entire access road that currently cuts directly through the winter range. The road will be permanently
“There’s a large expense ... but at the end of the day, it’s the right thing to do.” - Tim Bekhuys closed, as construction crews carve out new access 30 to 40 kilometres away. See Page 22
“If you’re going to move these projects forward, you really have to do the right thing and be respectful of your neighbours.” -Tim Bekhuys “We were aware of the ungulate winter range when we acquired the mine, but what we heard in our consultations with the public is this is a matter of high importance,” Bekhuys said. “We’re committed to the communities and First Nations — we’re guests on their land. When we talked to the First Nations in particular, and a lot of the local people as well, this was a main area of concern. If the mine is to go ahead, we do it in a way that is respectful to our neighbours at the end of the day.” New Gold has amended its development plans numerous times to compliment the natural balance of the
area. From its earliest site investigations, comprehensive environmental studies prompted the company to design a mine that could recycle its water and never discharge the eventual waste into the environment. The discovery of a rare species of Whitebark Pine adjacent to the site will also be managed in a way to harvest seeds, cultivate saplings and propagate the species in the region. “It’s really about recognition,” Bekhuys said. “If you’re going to move these projects forward you really have to do the right thing and be respectful of your neighbours.”
Beetle Battle Creating green energy from red devastation Photo courtesy of the Province of B.C.
“The plant will bring along with it a number of jobs to the area, which can’t be a bad thing.” - Kevin Crook By Jesse Cole British Columbia’s mountain pine beetle infestation left vast swaths of northwest B.C. forests a desolate, decomposing wasteland. Despite a massive effort to harvest as much of the damaged wood for traditional forest products before the trees began to rot, much of the wood was rendered useless. However, energy companies Dalkia Canada and Fengate Capital Management, along with B.C. Hydro, have
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embarked on a project to find a silver — or rather a green — lining to the infestation. Rather than allowing the beetle-ravaged wood to just rot and release methane — more than 20 times more damaging to the environment than C02 — the Fort St. James Green Energy project will use the waste biomass to produce electricity. See Page 24
the only area to see improvement from the project — air The Fort St. James Green Energy project is designed to be a 40-megawatt facility that will consume up to 200,000 quality will also improve as beehive burners and roadside metric tonnes of biomass per year when fully operational. burning are eliminated and devastated areas of the forest will be cleared to permit It is estimated to produce regrowth. roughly 285,000 gigawattThe facility has a price hours of electricity tag of $235 million, $175 annually. The average million of which is being household consumes a • 40 MW (megawatt) facility financed by a series of mere 11 gigawatt-hours per banks, including the year, meaning the facility • Would create 22 permanent jobs National Bank of Canada could power upward of and 60 permanent supply jobs and the Bank of Tokyo26,000 homes. BC Hydro Mitsubishi, funding will pay $115, slightly more • Would create 200-250 temporary that was confirmed in than the North American construction jobs November 2013. average, per megawatt hour Economically, the produced. • Will produce 285,000 GWh per construction and The facility will be fueled year operation of the facility by three main forms of will add a substantial biomass: roadside debris, • Will consume 200,000 metric number of jobs for the by-product from Fort St. tonnes of biomass, annually. region. Fort St. James James’ sawmill operations District Councillor Kevin and, of course, pine• Will not increase GHG emissions Crook said the plant will beetle affected forests. The • Has a 20-year harvest licence be a positive addition to project has been issued the town and its economy. a 20-year harvest license issued by B.C. Ministry of “The plant will bring for those sections of forest Forests, Lands and Natural Resource along with it a number by the B.C. Ministry of of jobs to the area, which Forests, Lands and Natural • BC Hydro will pay $115 per MWh can’t be a bad thing,” he Resource operations. • Reduce GHG emissions by 95,000 said. The Fort St. James Green The facility is expected Energy Project’s facility will metric tonnes per year. to create 200-250 produce environmentallytemporary jobs during friendly energy, using the construction phase. new emissions-reduction Twenty-two permanent technologies, as well as operational jobs will be created, as well as 60 supplyburning fuels that are part of an already existing carbonchain positions ranging from logging operations to cycle, meaning they would not create any additional trucking and transport. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Fort St. James Green Energy project plans to Moreover, the facility will help to reduce overall GHG emissions by up to 95,000 metric tonnes per year through begin delivering energy by 2016 and is one of four in the province under a 30-year contract to sell energy to BC the closing of sawmill beehive burners and reduced Hydro. roadside debris burning. GHG emissions will not be
At a glance
Spanning the environment
By Quinn Bender
orthern development often gets a critical review by environmental pundits, but one Prince George waterworks company understands the folly of this belief, knowing full well developers and industry are not without a will to protect the environment in the course of doing business. Northlands Water and Sewer Supplies are known for their staff â€™s varied background experiences, allowing them to source hardto-find materials others struggle to locate. Recently, Northlands brought in a product many had not heard of before, but is quickly becoming a highly-regarded standard in culvert replacements. Itâ€™s called Enviro-Span. As B.C.â€™s major supplier, Northlandsâ€™ manager Nancy Taylor can personally attest to its rising popularity with industry, saying last yearâ€™s sales doubled over 2012 and this yearâ€™s are set to double again. See Page 26
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“People understand immediately how much better these are than old culverts. You just place it over a creek and it creates an arch without touching anything in the water. When you’re done in one location, you just pull it up and put it down again somewhere else,” said Taylor. Enviro-Span is described as a reusable, next-generation bottomless culvert with a combination of simple design and new material technology. The non-metallic arch eliminates in-stream and stream-bank disturbance, reduces costs of shipping and installation due to its light weight and eliminates the risk of leached toxins. Its elbow modules allow a stream’s natural course to be followed without channel modification. Best of all, no tools are needed for installation. So far, Taylor has personally delivered Enviro Spans as far as Cranbrook, Port McNeill, Vernon and Mount Milligan. “You can never know where they end up. Once you’re finished you just pull them out and move them to another site. It’s continual recycling of them, just going from one creek to another creek, to another road to another road.” The economics make sense to most purchasers, but its application to environmental stewardship is undoubtedly the driving factor in its rapid popularity, Taylor says. “People are looking for alternatives. They don’t want to disturb these little creeks that have the little fish, the rainbow trout. They want to go in as carefully as possible and they want to come out the same way without leaving a footprint,” she said. Northlands has supplied everyone with this product
“People understand immediately how much better these are than old culverts.” - Nancy Taylor Northlands Water and Sewer
from small local outfits to some of the major players. They are also gearing up for what many expect will be a boom time for the construction of various pipelines. As they secure the permits to participate in those projects, the company is busy assisting various mines in the area. Turner says the Mount Milligan mine has installed an Enviro-Span to reduce their footprint and two other mines, still in the exploration stage, have included them in their design plans. More and more, government agencies, the general public and developers are demanding tools and technologies that better adhere to sustainable environment principles. With a drive to uphold sustainable practices in all of the services offered at Northlands, this is one company that has seen its success grow as a result in the past, and likely into the future, as new products emerge.
From Dease Lake to success By Rod Link
reda Campbell has one of the longest commutes around in order to attend classes tied to an MBA business program she’s taking at Simon Fraser University. Several times a year, using points earned from a loyalty program, the Dease Lake resident makes the trip by plane to the Lower Mainland. Once in Vancouver, she sleeps on a cousin’s couch for the six-week long sessions at the university. “At the beginning I really didn’t think I’d make it,” says Campbell. “But now I can see the end and I know I can do it.” Campbell, a Tahltan, already had completed a business diploma program at Camosun College in Victoria and had enrolled in a Thompson Rivers University distance education diploma program in leadership and organization. But Campbell didn’t connect well with the inpersonal nature of the online communication required for that program.
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“When you work two weeks on and two weeks off, you still have the time to practice the traditional ways. You can still hunt, you can still trap.”
- Freda Campbell
And she was determined to stay within the Tahltan territory to be close to her father, who has esophageal cancer. Then one day while in the Northern Lights College office in Dease Lake, Campbell saw a poster advertising SFU’s executive MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership offered through its Beedie School of Business. “It looked appealing but I didn’t think I would qualify without a degree. I had to visit the college a few times that month and the poster kept catching my eye, so, I decided I would apply,” said Campbell. “I really didn’t think I would get into it but I did. I am so glad I did, it was the perfect solution to my problem. I didn’t have to move out of the north to attend and I have a cohort and teachers that I interact with all the time, both in person and online. It really does seem suited for us northerners in remote communities.” Campbell has just started a new job as the human resources coordinator and community liaison for Imperial Metals, which is in the final stages of opening its Red Chris copper mine on Tahltan traditional territory. “What I do is work with the company and the communities of Telegraph Creek, Dease Lake and Iskut,” she explained. Aside from organizing meetings and keeping communications channels open between the company and the communities, the job includes connecting people within the territory with job opportunities. Campbell has had plenty of experience in connecting mining companies with potential employees dating back to 1994 when she worked in the office of the Eskay Creek gold mine, which was also located on Tahltan traditional territory. Back then there weren’t the type of widespread economic benefits and agreements that exist now between major projects and aboriginal communities.
And the cyclical nature of the resource industry has Campbell convinced that the future for aboriginal people within large projects lies in training and skills development. “Our communities really hurt when there were no mines,” said Campbell. “We had all that time to improve and prepare ourselves.” “But all of the programs were attached to jobs. When there weren’t jobs, there was no training. That was a serious flaw for aboriginal people ... what we had were people working seasonally and in the winter, they’d be on employment insurance.” And now with the natural resource industry on the rise in Tahltan territory, Campbell sees a fit between the traditional way of life and work. “When you work two weeks on and two weeks off, you still have the time to practice the traditional ways. You can still hunt, you can still trap.” “If you have a Monday to Friday job, doing that stuff on the weekends sometimes just doesn’t work.” Campbell also believes industrial work can lend itself to the traditional ways of problem solving and being innovative. “It’s not only possible for aboriginal people to make that shift, they can do that by innovation, particularly in the north,” she said. “We are innovative. In the north you have to do things yourself. We come by that naturally. If you visit one of our fish camps, a hunting camp, you will see what we can do ... when I go out with my father I see how he looks at the world. He can do anything. There’s nothing that he can’t do. He’ll look at something and he’ll figure it out.” “What is not natural for us is to do it for money. But if we can make that switch, we can be incredible entrepreneurs.”
Terrace Alfalfa “I don’t think that many people would have imagined this would be the first manufacturing facility they would see come...” - Dave Pernarowski By Rod Link
lans by Chinese industrial interests to build an alfalfa protein extraction plant on land just purchased at the City of Terrace-owned Skeena Industrial Development Park make total sense, says mayor Dave Pernarowski. Pernarowski, who was front and centre in negotiations leading up to the land deal struck earlier this month with business interests from the Chinese economic development zone Qinhuangdao, said there is huge demand for alfalfa
for livestock and human consumption in China which is becoming increasingly health-conscious and affluent. “There is a particular shortage in China for this type of protein and the Chinese government is also trying to restructure diet there to a certain degree, so there are school milk plans and the development of animal agriculture which brings the demand for this protein even higher,” said Pernarowski. See Page 30
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Plans have been drawn up to construct a processing centre in Terrace for Alfalfa from Saskatchewan. The Terrace processing facility will be the first manufacturing facility to come to the Skeena Industrial Development Park. Dave Pernarowski expects the facility will employ up to 170 skilled local workers.
“Chinese regulations for the import of [alfalfa] hay is the most strict in the world. They’ve got a platinum standard that far exceeds Japanese standards.”
If the plans announced in July come together, construction of an alfalfa processing centre could start within three years on a 33acre parcel at the industrial development park. The plant would supply 10,000 tonnes of feed-grade alfalfa protein annually for livestock and 2,000 tonnes of food grade alfalfa protein for human consumption for shipment to China. Canada is a significant exporter of alfalfa to countries such as Japan and Korea and those in the Middle East, however shipping the actual plant in unprocessed form to China has proven nearly impossible because of strict inspections for organic imports there. By synthesizing the alfalfa into pure form using what Pernarowski calls “an intense process” it can then be shipped in powdered or condensed form from Prince Rupert. This process involves pressing, liquid filtering and centrifuging leading to a protein in packaged form with another process that turns leftover alfalfa into pellets. Raw alfalfa would come from Saskatchewan, making Terrace the processing point of a value-added supply chain that would eventually end in China. According to Ed Shaw, an Albertan forage broker and president of International Forage and Feed, in recent years many large forage companies have either been blacklisted or withdrawn from alfalfa feed export to China. “Chinese regulations for the import of [alfalfa] hay is the most strict in the world. They’ve got a platinum standard that far exceeds Japanese standards,” said Shaw. “If you ship
stuff over and it’s rejected you can’t ship it back. There are major exporters in the U.S. who will no longer ship to China or will not start to. The risk is too big. We’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars of cost when it’s rejected.” Pernarowski highlighted the fact that processing alfalfa for export here is an Dave Pernarowski environmentally-friendly process. “What we like about this particular manufacturing plant is that the protein is naturally pressed and extracted from the alfalfa leaf so there is no chemical synthesis and no chemical emissions, it’s just a small amount of waste water that comes from a plant like this and it is not harmful to the environment,” he said. The proposed development also fits with Terrace’s inclinations as a community that has a long-standing agricultural tradition with a long growing season afforded by the coastal climate, he said. “I don’t think that many people would have imagined this would be the first manufacturing facility they would see come to the Skeena Industrial Development Park,” the mayor said. “As a community that really supports locally-grown food and agriculture we have an opportunity now considering our strategic location in Northwest British Columbia to start working really closely with agricultural-based products and this is a good example of that.” The Terrace processing facility will employ 170 skilled workers, most of them slated to be local, said Pernarowski.
Future By Rod Link
Gitxsan lawyer now working for a large private equity management firm in California sees a bright future for northwestern First Nations. Bill Lomax, from the Hazeltons who earned a Doctor of Laws at UBC as well as a Masters of Business Administration degree from Columbia University in New York, said resource development, including natural gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas plants, can provide the foundation for First Nationsâ€™ wealth creation. See Page 32
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Hazeltons’ Bill Lomax, a Gitxsan lawyer working for a large, private equity firm in California and director of the Gitxsan Trust, draws a parallel from the economic windfall American Indian tribes experienced after development of casino operations in the U.S. to the potential benefits for northwestern B.C. First Nations from energy company pipelines.
Lomax said there’s a parallel between the northwest and American Indian tribes developing casino operations in and around populated areas. Those tribes were able to take advantage of their close proximity to populated areas through casinos and other entertainment centres on their tribal lands. The resulting success: A lucrative payback to those Indian tribes. “You’ve won the geographic lottery. You can become very successful,” said Lomax of the new-found importance of the Northwest as a corridor for energy exports. Lomax’s experience with capital built up by American Indian-owned casinos dates back years to when he worked on Wall Street. And that experience has now translated into a position in San Francisco with the international private equity firm Capital Dynamics, which has $19 billion under management, some of it belonging to Indian tribes. Lomax said the desire by companies to either develop on First Nation territory or, in the case of energy companies, seeking pipeline route access through First Nation territories offers people in northwest B.C. the same opportunities for economic growth as those experienced by American Indian-owned casinos. There’s a growing movement within Gitxsan territory, for example, to take on greater roles, he added. “It’s not just wanting a little money, a piece of the action, we’re poised to start taking real leadership roles,” he said. Lomax is also a director of the Gitxsan Trust, the entity which owns the Gitxsan Development Corporation,
and said it is positioning itself to take advantage of opportunities within the 33,000 square kilometres claimed by the Gitxsan. But Lomax did acknowledge that there - Bill Lomax are differences within the Gitxsan, as is the case with other First Nations, over what kind of economic development to pursue and who within the First Nation would have control. Within Gitxsan territory those differences in the past have resulted in court cases and blockades of Gitxsan government offices. And, recently, there’s been increased opposition in the territory to natural gas pipeline construction. Lomax remains confident those differences will be ironed out. “I think there’s a realization now that there’s a need for employment for young people,” he said. “I believe the house chiefs are moving forward toward economic development and opportunities for young people and to have a revenue stream.” Looking at the experiences of Indian tribes when political differences have surfaced even as they’ve grown economically, Lomax said cooler heads have prevailed. “I’ve yet to see a tribe shut down a casino because they can’t get along,” he said. Lomax does add, however, that income from resource development is finite and won’t go on forever. It’s why Indian tribes who have made their initial gains from casinos are moving into other enterprises. “That’s what they’re looking at, an economic life afterward,” said Lomax.
“I’ve yet to see a tribe shut down a casino because they can’t get along.”
a balance By Shaun Thomas Facing expansion that includes more terminals and more tonnage in the years ahead, the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) is choosing to be proactive in ensuring the people of Prince Rupert are part of that growth. Rather than simply hearing second or third-hand about the concerns of residents, the PRPA launched a community information forum that connects more than a dozen people directly with the decision makers at the portâ€™s Atlin Terminal offices. See Page 34
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“We’re very aware that the local community is much more scrutinizing of projects before us.” - Shaun Stevenson Prince Rupert Port Authority “We’re very aware that the local community is much more scrutinizing of projects before us. If we look back a decade ago, our alignment with the City of Prince Rupert and our priority was about economic revival and economic vitality. But we know as we go forward, projects and opportunities for expansion are really going to be scrutinized with a mix of positive anticipation with the positive economic vitality they may contribute but also trepidation about potential social impacts and environmental impacts. I think the key to striking that balance is conversation,” said PRPA vice-president of trade development and public affairs Shaun Stevenson. “Through a public call for membership, there were 19 members of the community appointed to the community information forum working group who represented a wide variety of opinions and interest. It really underpins and ongoing dialogue with the community, regardless of what is before us, to understand how the port can better reflect the values and interest of the community going forward.” The 19-member group has been meeting monthly with port authority staff since February and they are the ones to drive the discussion, said Stevenson. “We have given the members the latitude to choose
their own questions and topics for discussion, we have brought in experts both from within the port authority and among the port community broadly to respond to the topics of interest that have been identified,” he said. “Although relatively new, there has already been some very valuable two-way dialogue and discussion as it relates to both current operations and future considerations for the port authority ... we’re learning a lot within the port about what the interests, the values, the concerns and so forth are within the community, a lot more so than we have previously.” The community information forum provides an avenue for discussing projects that is unique from the many open houses, email addresses and toll-free feedback lines currently in use, and Stevenson said it is that uniqueness that is making it a success for all parties involved. “While we have many communications instruments available, whether it be through working with local media or through our website, newsletters and social media, we are always thinking of ways to strengthen that and really support an ongoing dialogue with the community,” he said. “I think we have made great strides ... in anchoring that with formalized, structured engagement.”
Land or sea? “The footprint on the land is significantly different, and the way in which they would be built are significantly different.” By Martina Perry
o build on land or on sea, that is the question facing Woodside Energy Ltd. as it begins feasibility work on its Grassy Point LNG terminal. The Australian energy giant, which owns six of seven operational LNG trains in that country, is weighing its options for its 20-million ton export terminal across from the community of Lax Kw’alaams. Woodside indigenous affairs manager John Litchfield said the onshore facility would be constructed in modules then brought to the site
- John Litchfield
by barge where a workforce would complete it, while the floating facility would be constructed overseas and brought over in one piece before being secured to the seafloor with pilings. “The footprint on the land is significantly different, and the way in which they would be built are significantly different,” he said, noting initial plans are for two LNG trains with plans for up to four once completely developed. See Page 36
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Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman, Lax Kw’alaams councillor Andrew Tait and Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad look on as Lax Kw’alaams Mayor Garry Reece and Premier Christy Clark sign a revenue sharing agreement for Grassy Point.
“We anticipate there needs to be a lot of consultation. It’s something we’re experienced in and welcome.”
Aside from construction, another major difference between the two is the number of employees needed on Canadian soil during construction. According to Litchfield, there would be 1,000 workers during peak construction of the nearshore concept and 6,000 for the onshore option. Regardless of which option is chosen, there would be a workforce of 300 needed to operate the plant over its expected 25-year lifespan. Woodside LNG is currently working on the project description for the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office, which is expected to be complete by August. Litchfield, along with corporate affairs advisor Dayna Burns, were in the Northwest during the last week of June and said the trip was just the start of consultation on the project. “We anticipate there needs to be a lot of consultation. It’s something we’re experienced in and welcome. We understand for Woodside to have a world class operation and profitable business, our social licence is one of the most
important things ... our experience in Australia is that maximizing employment opportunities and contracting opportunities with the local business and people, especially [Aboriginal] people, is - John Litchfield critical to success,” he said, noting Woodside plans to Woodside Energy go above and beyond for the terminal. “Compliance is just our base position. We want to go beyond that and hope to build strong relationships.” In January, Woodside signed an agreement with the provincial government to investigate the feasibility of building a LNG terminal within 693.6 hectares of land and 243.9 hectares of foreshore on the southern part of Grassy Point, across from Lax Kw’alaams. Litchfield said there is still much to be done in the three-year exploratory window granted by the agreement. “There are a lot of people working behind the scenes to make sure this investment is sound,” he said, adding market conditions will be a big factor in a final investment decision.
“This is an opportunity to build an economy and improve the social situation in Metlakatla and on the North Coast.” - Chief Harold Leighton In April, the Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams First Nations reached an LNG revenue sharing agreement with the provincial government. The deal, announced by Premier Christy Clark, provides the two First nations with a portion of provincial government revenues from the sole proponent agreements reached for projects at Grassy Point proposed by Aurora LNG and Woodside LNG. In signing the agreements, both the Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams “signal their support for co-operating in respect of prospective LNG development at Grassy Point”, reads a media advisory from the province. The agreement also addresses Crown consultation and accommodation. In making the announcement, Premier Clark said this agreement is a “major milestone” in developing B.C.’s LNG industry. “This kind of cooperation and stability ... is going to play a crucial role in ensuring investors have the confidence they need to make sure their final investment moves forward,” she said, noting working together with First Nations is the only way the province will grow. “[LNG] is an opportunity for every British Columbian, but more importantly it is an opportunity for First Nations to become full partners in the economic development
of the province and the country like never before ... agreements like this plant the seeds of prosperity for generations to come.” While noting that protecting the environment was key to the band, both Metlakatla Chief Harold Leighton and Lax Kw’alaams Mayor Garry Reece said this agreement was extremely important to their people. “We have come to a time when the status quo is no longer acceptable. This is an opportunity to build an economy and improve the social situation in Metlakatla and on the North Coast ... when you look at the benefits LNG can bring to the province and to the country, we want to be part of that,” said Leighton. “We look at this as a huge opportunity for my people and it is going to change a lot for my people ... it means a lot,” added Mayor Reece. Noting he hoped other First Nations would join in revenue sharing agreements, Leighton noted this agreement could be used as a blueprint in the province. “Revenue sharing agreement like the one at Grassy Point are a good example of how First Nations communities can get early benefits from projects ... it is a good example of what can happen when you approach LNG in the spirit of partnership,” he said.
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Trade connects us. Colin, Elaine and workers like them are building the Port of Prince Rupert’s Road, Rail, and Utility Corridor. Once the two-year construction project is complete, our gateway will move more cargo to overseas markets. That means jobs and prosperity for people in northern BC. Our terminals may be located in Prince Rupert, but we’re building connections clear across Canada—and the globe. Learn about the value of trade at www.rupertport.com/connections.