January 11, 2019 (revised)
Dear British Columbia residents,
The Coastal GasLink team takes great pride in the work they do. As an important partner in the LNG Canada development, we have dedicated the past six years to creating a pipeline project that balances economic development with environmental protection. Today we are poised to begin pre-construction of our project and play our part in supplying the world with clean, sustainably-produced Canadian natural gas.
Coastal GasLink includes many hundreds of people who call B.C. home. We have spent thousands of hours listening, learning and engaging with communities and First Nations. This input has made our project better and is the reason I believe we have received strong and widespread support.
Recently, activities to block our work near the Morice River Bridge in north west B.C. have occurred. I’m pleased to say that a positive solution enabling us to peacefully cross the bridge and public access road, allowing work to progress, has been achieved. I credit this achievement to a commitment to respectful and meaningful dialogue demonstrated by all parties involved in our discussions with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and RCMP. I would also like to acknowledge the support of the Province of B.C. and many community leaders during this period.
Importantly, I want to assure all British Columbians that the Wet’suwet’en camp will not be disturbed. The camp’s people and activities will in no way be impacted by our work a kilometre away.
I respect that we may not always agree, but I am proud nonetheless of the relationships we have built. We value deeply the support of communities, all 20 elected Indigenous First Nations along our route and many Hereditary Chiefs. I am especially grateful to those who worked together over recent weeks, including Hereditary Chiefs, to achieve a mutually-agreeable solution. This demonstrates that positive dialogue — based on common values, including safety, collaboration, and integrity — can create constructive outcomes.
The Coastal GasLink project will bring significant benefits including an estimated 2,500 construction jobs. Many of those jobs will involve First Nations contractors who are eager to begin work. Coastal GasLink has awarded $620 million in contract work to Indigenous businesses for the project’s right-of-way clearing, medical, security and camp management needs, with another anticipated $400 million in additional contract and employment opportunities for Indigenous and local B.C. communities during pipeline construction.
I thank everyone who has worked tirelessly with us toward achieving our common goals. Coastal GasLink is committed to developing our project according to the highest environmental standards, including the recognition of Indigenous values and traditions. We are also committed to continuing discussions with all parties at every stage of our development and construction process.
Rick Gateman, Coastal GasLink President
Property tax revenues from Coastal GasLink can help build things like schools, roads and hospitals.