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Gitxsan say no to LNG pipeline on their territory

Territory closed to LNG

The chiefs of the Gitxsan house of Luutkudziiwus have declared their territory closed to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) activity.

This is significant because 32 kilometres of a $5 billion pipeline is scheduled to go through this territory. The 900-kilometre Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline would move fracked gas from Hudson’s Hope to the proposed Pacific Northwest LNG terminal on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert where it would be liquefied and then exported by tanker on the Pacific Ocean.

Malaysian-owned Progress Energy Canada Ltd. is planning to build the LNG terminal and selected TransCanada to design, build, own and operate the pipeline.

While there are numerous LNG proposals being advanced in British Columbia, RBC Dominion Securities identified the Pacific Northwest project as one of the projects likely to succeed. The terminal would have a capacity of 22 million tonnes of fracked gas per year and is expected to be in-service by 2018.

Members of the Gitxsan First Nation have now begun to build a cabin at the entrance to their territory in the Suskwa valley.

In July, the Gitxsan hereditary chiefs issued eviction notices to CN Rail, logging companies and sport-fishing operators on their territory. Beyond the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline, this also affects Spectra Energy’s West Coast Connector Gas Transmission Project and the Pacific Northern Gas looping project.

Their actions follow the historic Supreme Court of Canada decision on Tsilhqot’in title which provides a legal framework for the Gitxsan to exercise control over their land.

An Idle No More Facebook post highlights, “Support and supplies are needed for the camp. Berry pickers are still welcome to and through the camp. Please contact camp.madiilii@gmail.com to provide support, or head out to 15 km on the Suskwa FSR [Forest Service Road] to help build until Aug. 30.”

A video with more about this action and cabin construction can be viewed here. You can also read more about this at No More Pipelines.

The Council of Canadians extends its solidarity to these actions.