First Nation blocks transmission line

A NORTHWEST First Nation says it won't allow any work connected to the Northwest Transmission Line on its traditional territory until a suitable benefits agreement is signed.

Cultural monitors for the Lax Kw'alaams ordered a geotechnical crew to leave an area west of Terrace Aug. 7.

Negotiations underway in spring between BC Hydro and the Lax Kw'alaams broke off before resuming last month.

It became very clear that Hydro had not changed their position and in fact, their negotiating position was worse than when negotiations broke down last spring,” said Lax Kw'alaams councillor Bob Moraes in a statement.

The transmission line goes through approximately 25 kilometres of Lax Kw'alaams traditional territory.

So far, said Moraes, BC Hydro has offered “beads”.

A detailed survey of the line, which will stretch 344km north to Bob Quinn and bring stable power to allow the development of several mineral deposits, is underway.

The Lax Kw'alaams First Nation is one of three yet to sign an impact benefits agreement with BC Hydro providing cash and direct-award contracts tied to the line's construction.

Four other First Nations and the Nisga'a Lisims Government have already signed agreements.

BC Hydro wants to finish survey work and begin construction activities of clearing the right of way and building access roads to construction locations this year.

Placing pylons and other line work would start next year leading to a late 2013 completion at a cost of approximately $400 million.





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