Google MapsLax Kw'alaams is north of Prince Rupert
The first of three votes on a natural gas benefit offer worth over $1 billion has been unanimously rejected by a First Nation on British Columbia’s northwest coast.
Lax Kw’alaams band member Malcolm Sampson says all the more than 180 eligible voters at Tuesday’s meeting in Port Simpson raised their hands to oppose the plan to build a liquid-natural-gas pipeline and terminal in their territory.
Pacific NorthWest LNG, mostly owned by Petronas, wants to build an export terminal on Lelu Island, near Prince Rupert.
Sampson, who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting, says the No vote wasn’t about LNG, but was about the proposed site, which sits at the mouth of the Skeena River and plays a central role in the ecosystem of the watershed.
Sampson says $1.15-billion benefits package was not once discussed by the 300 people in attendance, which included dozens of youth who were ineligible to vote.
The band council is declining comment until members living outside of Port Simpson are able to vote following two more information sessions in Prince Rupert and Vancouver over the coming week