PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - First Nation leaders in central B.C. are raising red flags over plans for natural gas pipelines across their territories, warning the projects won't go ahead unless they are consulted and approve.
At least four pipelines are being proposed to move natural gas from northeast B.C. to ports on the coast when the product would be turned into liquefied natural gas for export overseas.
In a statement released by the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, several chiefs say the projects won't go ahead without the consent of their people and only after there are assessments of how the projects would affect their environment and native title rights.
Chief Terry Teegee says the projects are at risk because there are no agreements in place for First Nations to assess them, and Chief Reg Louis says while his people are willing to do business, it can't be at the expense of the environment and future generations.
Louis says the federal government has stripped environmental protections to make it easier for the projects to go ahead, while Teegee says Ottawa and the provincial government need to meet with the chiefs to discuss these projects.
The Carrier Sekani statement appears to put the group at odds with the coastal Haisla Nation, which has signed an agreement that would allow construction of a liquefied natural gas plant near Kitimat as part of the plan to export LNG overseas.