According to official representatives, Squamish First Nation did not make a simple decision to approve the 1.6 billion USD project on liquefied natural gas (LFA), but this generated potential benefits of $ 1.1 billion in terms of land and money.
Last week, the Squamish First Nation Council approved three economic benefits contracts – one of them was Woodfibre, FortisBC and the province, but "depends on the environmental conditions that are being met," according to a news release published on Thursday.
Qualified for the term "if the project is built", this refers to 40 years of transactions involving cash payments totaling $ 225.65 million, 1,600 short-term and 330 long-term jobs, business opportunities and land transfers of 422 hectares.
"Communities sometimes face difficult decisions, and it is recognized that for many it was a difficult decision," Squamish Coun. Khelsilem, whose English name is Dustin Rivers, said in a news release.
Khelsilems was not available for an interview on Thursday, but his statement stated that responsibility for Woodfibre and Fortis's liability for the LNG plant, including its decommissioning, was the next priority of the first country.
"As supporters agreed, we will jointly develop project management plans and we will have our own observers to report any non-compliance with the conditions of culture, employment and training," said Khelsilems.
Negotiations of agreements on impacts and benefits were a prerequisite for the Squamish state to carry out an environmental assessment of the proposal for a LNG environmental wood fiber, and this is an important issue that the public must address before starting construction.
"With this vote (by the Squamish Nation) and what the provincial government has done, there is really no internal issue that would hold us," said Byng Giraud, vice president of corporate affairs at Woodfibre.
Giraud said the company still has to work with Squamish Nation representatives to write nine environmental management plans, while Woodfibre is hoping to announce that it will continue construction in early 2019.
"The announcement and the start of construction are two different things," said Giraud. "The announcement means that we are allowed money for long-term goods."
Giraud expects significant work from the old wood fiber pulp and paper mill southwest of Squamish on Howe Sound next fall.
About Squamish Nation that kick in:
• Annual payments for a total of $ 187.8 million throughout its entire grant agreement.
• Payments of $ 18.75 million at three turning points – signing a contract, launching a business, and starting up.
• targeted payments, including money for a $ 3 million cultural fund and $ 16.1 million for employment opportunities, training and education for Squamish Nation members.
• Approximately 1,600 short-term construction and 330 long-term jobs, where Squamish members will have access to training resources if Squamish members are not qualified.
• Entrepreneurship opportunities are awarded to up to 872.4 million euros in contracts for skilled applicants who are able to win the race.
• The transfer of nine plots to 422 hectares of plot for Squamish Nation's housing and economy development.
Squamish district action daughter Doug Race wrote in writing that Woodfibre is still a controversial proposal, but he welcomes the economic benefits, including those accruing to the Squamish Nation.
"With our ongoing work with the Squamish Nation, we are always pleased to hear when they benefit from projects in their territory," said the Race. He was not available for interview.
Race adds that his municipality "still does not understand the local tax incentives that will be implemented from the (Woodfibre) project" and "have both positive and negative communities and socio-economic implications for the Squamish district".
However, the Squamish Nation's decision was a surprise to the My Sea to Sky environmental group that opposed this project and felt that the First Nation was ready to hold a joint referendum on the disputed benefits agreement.
"I do not want to criticize Squamish First Nation excessively," said Eoin Finn, Chairman of the Seas at the Sea. "They are given a number of benefits that could be said to have come about."
"I just want them not to receive their benefits in this way," said Soman.
Finn said that the Sea of My Sea was particularly opposed to the province by leveraging its resources to agreements that won Squamish Nation support by effectively supporting the development of fossil fuels, while also pledging to reduce B.C. greenhouse gas emissions.