Terrace city council holds off on gas pipeline support letter

Council first wants the province to agree to share industrial taxation revenue

Terrace city council voted last night to withhold a letter of support for pipeline developer TransCanada until after a meeting with the provincial government next week concerning a revenue sharing agreement with northern local governments.

TransCanada official Dave Kmet, who is working on one of two company northern natural gas pipeline projects, told council he is trying to raise a message of support from municipalities to counter the controversial and negative press generated by protests and opposition to projects.

“We have already received support letters from communities in Vanderhoof, Houston, Fraser Lake, Chetwynd, and Burns Lake,” he told council.

Kmet highlighted the employment the activity of his company has brought to the area with environmental and other work over the last three years, but noted that “to other places that are not in north central BC…the only thing you see is controversy.”

He said having support statements from communities helps the company make a more convincing case to investors that they should back the company with the billions necessary to get up and running.

TransCanada is anticipating a final investment decision by LNG Canada early next year to build a liquefied natural gas plant at Kitimat and TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline would feed that plant.

The company’s other northern gas pipeline, Prince Rupert Gas Transmission, would feed the planned Petronas Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas plant on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert.

Kmet’s request was put on hold when councilor James Cordeiro moved that any such letter should first wait until northern local governments meet with provincial officials next week to press their case for a share of the taxation revenues that would flow to the province from liquefied natural gas and other developments.

Cordeiro’s motion was supported by every councillor except Brian Downie.

“We should defer writing a letter of support until after that meeting,” said Cordeiro.

After the council meeting, Mayor Carol Leclerc called it a tactical move:

“We have not had any firm commitment from the province on our request for the Northwest B.C. Resource Benefits Alliance. This is a strategic move to hold the province’s feet to the fire.”

A revenue sharing agreement would bring a percentage of royalties from all industrial activity back to northern communities, and 21 municipalities and regional districts from Haida Gwaii to Vanderhoof have signed on under an umbrella organization called the Northwest B.C. Resource Benefits Alliance.

Downie voted against the motion to hold off support of TransCanada’s projects, saying it sends mixed messages.

“The motion contradicts positions this council has taken in the past,” he said. “I don’t think that’s fair to the project or the citizens of Terrace to play politics with two projects as serious and significant as these projects are.”

But councillor Stacey Tyers, who is also the chair of the Kitimat-Stikine regional district and the chair of the benefits alliance, said Downie was incorrect in his assessment.

“We have supported projects, and supported projects under the promise from the premier that our communities would see benefits from those projects, and by leaping ahead to writing letters of support before those commitments have come into place, that is doing our communities a disservice. We are here to represent our communities and our citizens, not independent projects,” she said.

As to whether TransCanada supports a revenue sharing agreement, Kmet said that his company encourages the province and the local governments to figure out any such agreement between themselves.

Members of the benefits alliance are to meet with provincial officials next week at the annual Union of BC Municipalties convention in Vancouver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Police investigating after body found in Terrace

Discovery Friday afternoon near Olson Ave.

Skeena Voices | Painting the world a brighter place

Marilyn Lachapelle brings life to rocks to heal and spread happiness

Northwest mobile unit to help those at heart of mental health, addiction crisis

Province, Northern Health unveils new unit in Terrace to bridge gaps in services

New Mills Memorial project said to be on track

But Skeena MLA Ellis Ross not convinced

Bail hearing adjourned for April in Terrace manslaughter case

Veronica Leanne Bolton, 34, is accused in death of Rene Fagan, 85

Stolen Bentley spotted going wrong way down highway found in Summerland

The car has been recorded going the wrong way on the Coquihalla, found two days later

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

Most Read