Skip to content

Victoria chapter co-sponsors community forum on Steelhead-Malahat LNG proposal


The Council of Canadians Victoria chapter and allies are organizing a community forum on Feb. 17 about the proposed Steelhead-Malahat liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.

The Globe and Mail has reported, “A new LNG project envisioned for Vancouver Island would accept natural gas via an underwater pipeline that would weave from Washington State through the Gulf Islands, according to a proposal released [on Sept. 1, 2015]. …The proponent, Steelhead LNG Corp., has retained Williams Cos. Inc. to build the 128-kilometre pipeline – starting with a 53-km segment in Washington State and then extending 75 km underwater. The goal of the Island Gas Connector pipeline is to transport natural gas to the proposed Malahat LNG project south of Mill Bay on Vancouver Island.”

The article adds, “The pipeline route would travel west across the Georgia Strait and run south of Salt Spring Island en route to Saanich Inlet. The export site, near Bamberton Provincial Park, would feature a floating LNG facility. Williams [Cos. Inc.] will be seeking approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Canada’s National Energy Board. …Some of the supplies of natural gas could originate from Western Canada because Williams’ Northwest Pipeline system connects with Spectra Energy Corp.’s B.C. network at Sumas, Wash.”

The export site on Saanich Inlet would be in an area under the jurisdiction of the Malahat First Nation.

Saanich Inlet

Google Map noting Saanich Inlet.

Originally the leadership of the First Nation had supported the LNG terminal, but after a Band Council election late last year CTV reported, “The future of the Malahat LNG project could be on shaky ground after the First Nation elected a new chief with a markedly different attitude toward the proposed plant.” Just before she was elected Chief, Caroline Harry posted on her Facebook page, “When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten and the last stream poisoned, you will realize that you cannot eat money. Power of money creates greed. End it before it ends us. #Team #No #LNG.”

On Oct. 2, 2015, in the last days of the Harper government, the Canadian Press reported, “Steelhead says the National Energy Board has approved a 25-year licence for the annual export of up to six million tonnes of LNG from a proposed floating liquefaction and export terminal in Saanich Inlet.”

The community forum on Feb. 17 is co-sponsored by the Sierra Club BC, the Saanich Inlet Network, Divest Victoria, the Dogwood Initiative, the Wilderness Committee, and the Council of Canadians. For more details, please see the Facebook event page here.

The Council of Canadians is opposed to LNG terminal and pipeline projects. If just five LNG terminals were to be built, the facilities would release 13 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The fracking and transport of the gas would generate an additional 15 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The gas needed for five of these LNG terminals would also require an estimated 582 billion litres of water from BC’s rivers, lakes and streams. And just five LNG terminals could require an estimated 39,000 new wells by 2040, the majority of which would likely be fracked.

Further reading
Trudeau could decide on Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal in February (Jan. 10, 2016)
Trudeau to maintain Harper’s tax cut to spur LNG export terminals (Dec. 29, 2015)