Legislation gives Nisga’a taxing powers

The legislation follows through on commitments made in land claims treaty

THE NISGA’A Lisims Government will soon have the same kind of taxing authority as other governments now that the provincial legislature has passed needed legislation.

The legislation, which was passed today, builds on an agreement signed in July and fulfils expectations which date back to when the Nisga’a signed a land claims and government agreement with the federal and provincial governments in 2000.

When fully in place, the Nisga’a will be able to tax Nisga’a citizens and others, including industrial projects such as natural gas pipelines and other facilities located on Nisga’a Lands.

A hurdle for a portion of the route for one planned natural gas pipeline, the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project, was also removed today when a bill was passed to take a 63.5 hectare section of land out of the Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park.

That’s so the pipeline can travel along a 12 kilometre corridor alongside the Nisga’a Hwy in the Nass Valley.

The corridor was earlier identified as the best route available out of a number of options studied.

In addition to this 12 kilometre section, the pipeline will travel through 85 kilometres of Nisga’a Lands, part of a route that’s 900 kilometres in total from northeastern B.C. to a planned liquefied natural gas plant at Prince Rupert.

“Our treaty has paved the way for these agreements and the potential for achieving sustainable prosperity for our people. Today, we move forward as partners with the province and industry in B.C.’s LNG economy, and as a nation well positioned to benefit from employment, economic growth and investment emerging from LNG development in northern B.C.,” said Nisga’a Lisims Government president Mitchell Stevens.