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Province, Blueberry River First Nations reach agreement

January 18, 2023 at 3:04 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Michael Rose, president and CEO, Tourmaline Oil Corp. –

“I am pleased with this new framework for oil and gas development that will create significant prosperity for the people and the Province, for Blueberry River First Nations and all the Treaty 8 First Nations of B.C., and for industry. Providing low-emission Canadian natural gas to the world is one of the best things we can do for the global atmosphere and the overall Canadian economy.”

Izwan Ismail, president and CEO, Petronas Energy Canada Ltd. –

“Petronas Canada is encouraged that an agreement has been reached between the Government of British Columbia and Blueberry River First Nations, in an important step toward reconciliation and the management of cumulative impacts. As a global energy leader, we look to B.C.’s world-class North Montney basin and LNG Canada as cornerstones of both our global portfolio and B.C.’s important economic and environmental opportunity to deliver the world’s lowest-emission LNG. With this important agreement in place, our collaborative relationship with Blueberry River First Nations as well as other Treaty 8 Nations, and our commitment to sustainable development, including land restoration continues. It is our expectation that the necessary work can now proceed to ensure that the gas PETRONAS Canada delivers to the LNG Canada project is responsibly produced right here in B.C., benefiting the entire province and country.”

Lisa Baiton, president and CEO, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) –

“Indigenous partnerships and participation are integral to the success of the natural gas and oil industry in British Columbia. CAPP and our members appreciate the diligent efforts of the Province of B.C. and the Blueberry River First Nations to reach this detailed agreement, and we acknowledge all the other Nations in our areas of operations. This agreement is a positive step forward and we are focused on gaining an understanding of the details within the agreement to chart a path forward, which enables the responsible development of B.C.’s rich natural resources in a way that ensures mutual benefits for industry, Indigenous Nations and British Columbians across the province.”

Tristan Goodman, president and CEO, The Explorers and Producers Association of Canada –

“The agreement between the British Columbia government and Indigenous communities in northeast B.C. provides much-needed clarity to move forward with natural gas development. These historic agreements demonstrate a commitment from all parties to reconciliation and the environmentally conscious development of B.C.’s natural resources. British Columbia’s clean and responsibly produced natural gas can support Canada’s climate goals and supply the world with lower carbon, reliable and affordable energy. The agreement offers opportunities for economic prosperity for Indigenous communities and contributes revenues to support provincial priorities, such as health care and affordable housing.”

Linda Coady, president and CEO, BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) –

“As this agreement is implemented and more details made known, COFI will work with our members to support a path forward that reflects our recognition of Indigenous rights and our commitment to supporting sustainable forestry, people and communities. More broadly, and as important conversations about the future of forestry continue to take place across the province, we will keep collaborating with partners to further maximize the role a strong and sustainable forest industry can play in advancing reconciliation, fighting climate change and delivering good jobs for British Columbians today, and into the future.”

Mike Blosser, senior vice-president, Louisiana Pacific, Manufacturing Services –

“LP Building Solutions is pleased to see Blueberry River First Nations and the Province of B.C. finalize this agreement to ensure a successful balance between ecological, social and economic values and the long-term prosperity of northeast B.C. We look forward to working with all the Treaty 8 Nations and the Province of B.C. in the years to come.”

Greg D’Avignon, president and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia –

“The business council and our members have long advocated for meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous Nations that enable sustainable development in British Columbia. This agreement takes necessary steps toward advancing those shared goals and opportunities. Efficient, predictable and thorough decision-making processes are essential to urgently advancing our low-carbon natural resource and energy products to markets to reduce global GHG emissions, while enabling investment conditions for innovation and infrastructure to reduce domestic emissions. Acting in collaboration with purpose, globally and locally, will create sustainable economic prosperity for Nations, communities, businesses and all British Columbians.”

Leonard Hiebert, chair, Peace River Regional District –

“We are pleased that Blueberry River First Nations and the B.C. government have taken a thorough and collaborative approach to reach this significant milestone. This agreement is a step forward that will guide decision-making in the spirit of reconciliation, stewardship and partnership.”

Dale Bumstead, former mayor of Dawson Creek –

“The Yahey v. British Columbia decision is an incredible and iconic opportunity for all of us to recognize the importance of balancing resource development and respect for the land. The opportunity is to move forward as a region and a province together, toward a strong and prosperous future.”

Tim Burkhart, B.C. manager, strategic engagement, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) –

“Blueberry River First Nations have been stewarding their traditional territories since time immemorial, protecting both nature and way of life in the face of cumulative industrial disturbance. Y2Y celebrates the leadership of Blueberry River First Nations and the Province for reaching this agreement that invests back into Indigenous governments and communities to conserve ecosystems and biodiversity, advances B.C.’s 30% by 2030 land protection goals, and takes an important step to uphold the promises made in Treaty 8.”

Meaghen McCord, executive director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), B.C. chapter –

“CPAWS-BC celebrates the agreement between the Province and Blueberry River First Nations as a much-needed step toward facilitating Indigenous land stewardship, recognizing Indigenous rights, and increasing land protection in B.C. Northeastern British Columbia has been significantly impacted by resource extraction and we are optimistic this agreement will help prevent and reverse biodiversity loss through improved land-use planning and restoration.”

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