News Release: Province, Nisga’a agreement supports LNG development

Province, Nisga’a agreement supports LNG development




For Immediate Release                                                       Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

2014ARR0036-001752                                                                                       Nisga’a Lisims Government

November 20, 2014


VICTORIA – The Nisga’a Nation is embracing an historic opportunity to actively participate in B.C.’s liquefied natural gas sector by signing an agreement that will guarantee the Nation benefits from development of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Pipeline (PRGT) project on Nisga’a Lands and in the Nass area.

The pipeline benefit agreement is part of a comprehensive approach to partnering with First Nations on LNG opportunities, including developing skills training and environmental stewardship projects.

Benefits agreements are the path to partnership with First Nations, and this is the first such agreement signed by the Province and a First Nation for the proposed TransCanada pipeline that would service the Pacific NorthWest LNG project near Prince Rupert.

The Nisga’a Nation will receive approximately $6 million from the Province at various stages in the project: $1 million upon signing the agreement, $2.5 million when pipeline construction begins, and $2.5 million when gas starts to flow.

The Nisga’a Nation will also receive a yet-to-be-determined share of $10 million a year in ongoing benefits that will be available to First Nations along the PRGT pipeline. The Province expects to be signing similar agreements with other First Nations along proposed natural gas pipeline routes in the near future.

Provincial benefit-sharing offers First Nations additional tools to partner in economic development, complements industry impact benefit agreements that provide jobs and business opportunities, and is a way for government and First Nations to partner and provide industry with the certainty needed to make final investment decisions.

First Nations are also negotiating their own impact benefit agreements with pipeline proponents. On Nov. 6, 2014, the Nisga’a announced an impact benefit agreement with TransCanada for the PRGT project.

The two governments are creating a strong framework for Nisga’a participation in the LNG sector and to ensure B.C. is in a strong position to compete in the new global market place. The Nisga’a and B.C. governments have both introduced legislation to enable the Nisga’a Lisims Government to levy and collect property tax from non-Nisga’a citizens and companies with industrial installations, such as LNG pipelines on Nisga’a Lands.

The Ministry of Environment has also introduced the Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act. The act would remove 63.5 hectares from Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park for PRGT development and take effect once all regulatory approvals are received and the Nisga’a Final Agreement is amended. The route selected avoids specific cultural sites and has the support of the Nisga’a Lisims Government.


John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –

“Sharing benefits is our path to partnership that can lead to good-paying jobs, economic growth and collaboration on long-term environmental management. Together, the Province’s agreement with the Nisga’a Nation, the Nation’s agreement with TransCanada and the recent Nisga’a Real Property Tax Coordination Agreement show the power of First Nations, industry and government working together on a common goal.”

Mitchell Stevens, President, Nisga’a Nation –

“This is an important agreement for our people and is another step towards achieving sustainable prosperity for the Nisga’a Nation. The agreement further establishes the Nisga’a as active partners in B.C.’s LNG industry and serves notice to investors that we are interested in collaborative opportunities that are based on positive relationships.”

Rich Coleman, Deputy Premier, Minister of Natural Gas Development –

“Today’s agreement provides the Nisga’a Nation with a powerful tool to seize the economic opportunity and helps to give the LNG industry the certainty needed to make final investment decisions. This is a major step towards realizing the economic benefits that will flow to First Nations and all British Columbians from a new LNG export industry.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Nisga’a Nation has approximately 7,000 citizens in northwestern B.C. represented by the Nisga’a Lisims Government.

  • Nisga’a Lisims Government has the authority to pass laws on a broad range of matters.

  • Nisga’a law-making authority coexists with federal and provincial authority.

  • Nisga’a government is comprised of Nisga’a Lisims Government, the four Nisga’a Village Governments (Gitlaxt’aamiks, Gitwinksihlkw, Laxgalts’ap, Gingolx), and three urban locals.

  • B.C.’s first modern treaty, the Nisga’a Final Agreement came into effect in May 2000, enabling self-government and recognizing ownership of 2,000 sq. km of Nisga’a Lands.

  • TransCanada’s Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Pipeline project is proposed to run approximately 900 kilometres from Hudson’s Hope in northeast B.C. to the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG export facility at Lelu Island near Prince Rupert.

  • The pipeline route would run approximately 97 kilometres through Nisga’a Lands.

  • The Province is collaborating with First Nations, industry and federal agencies on an innovative, First Nations-driven LNG Environmental Stewardship Initiative to establish environmental legacies made possible as a result of LNG development.

  • As part of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, government is investing $4.4 million in provincial funding for Aboriginal community-based skills programming to support more than 440 Aboriginal people to get skills for jobs and $1 million for the Aboriginal Training for Employment Program to help more than 140 Aboriginal people prepare for employment.

  • This fall, the B.C. government announced rates for LNG proponents connecting to BC Hydro's electrical grid, introduced the Liquified Natural Gas Income Tax Act, and leislation to ensure B.C. has the cleanest LNG facilities in the world.


Learn More:

  • Read the B.C.-Nisga’a Nation Pipeline Benefits Agreement:

  • For information on the Nisga’a Lisims Government and its separate benefits agreement with TransCanada, visit:

  • Information on TransCanada’s proposed PRGT pipeline project:

  • Read about the Nisga’a Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement and the Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act:

  • Liquefied Natural Gas Income Tax Act:

  • More information on LNG in B.C., including the Province’s latest news, frequently asked questions, and links to LNG skills and training can be found at and the conversation on LNG can be followed using the hashtag #LNG in BC


Media Contacts

Lisa Leslie

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

250 213-7724


Edward Allen

Director of Communications

Nisga’a Lisims Government

250 633-3000



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