Kitsumkalum First Nation held its Joint Venture Round-up from May 25 to 26. (Photo courtesy Diane Collins)

Kitsumkalum First Nation held its Joint Venture Round-up from May 25 to 26. (Photo courtesy Diane Collins)

Kitsumkalum First Nation holds economic development forum for stakeholders

Several northwest B.C. industry members attended the meetings held from May 25 to 26

Kitsumkalum First Nation held its annual joint venture round-up, May 25-26, which saw several stakeholders come together to discuss economic development.

Kitsumkalum Economic Development Group General Manager Diane Collins said the community “is really an exciting place” for development opportunities.

Partners from the northwest B.C. First Nation’s 18 joint ventures across industrial sectors were at the meeting.

Industry representatives from northwest B.C. also gave presentations at the Kitsumkalum Community Hall.

Organizations present included LNG Canada (LNGC), Enbridge, Vopak Development Canada, The driving Force, Kalum Logistics Park, and Westcore Logistics.

Also in attendance were Skeena BC Liberal MLA Ellis Ross and Daniel Baker, Skeena district representative for the ministry of transportation and infrastructure.

Talking about the joint venture partnerships, Collins said that the round-up provides a platform for exchange of ideas.

“They are [industry] eager to learn about us, we’re eager to learn about them and their businesses and we are wanting to bring solutions to projects,” Collins said.

“I think with that type of attitude we could be possibly great opportunities to work together on projects in northwest.”

Kitsumkalum has an existing economic benefit agreement with LNGC and aims to build a spectrum of joint ventures going forward.

Collins said they are learning through interacting with the oil and gas giant, which is building a $40 billion facility in Kitimat so that they can accommodate bigger projects in the future.

Talking about contracting and safety protocols, Collins says that there are lot of challenges when it comes to working with big scale projects.

“They’ve often said that [LNGC] is the largest project that Canada has ever done but the country does not have the safety protocols and the document control protocols that mega projects normally run under globally,” she said.

“So there’s been a real ramp up and learning how to deal with that, right.”

She said small and middle range businesses are the backbone that drives economies.

“And so what we want to do is we want to make sure that we’ve got companies that will be able to support us in the development and the growth.”