Lax Kw’alaams and environmental groups ask Trudeau to axe LNG proposal

Lax Kw’alaams and supporters pen a letter Trudeau, hoping for a change of policy from the top

As Prime Minister Trudeau and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna talk climate change in Paris, a group of nine allied tribes of Lax Kw’alaams on the north coast of B.C remind them of another environmental crisis: the Petronas Pacific Northwest LNG facility. The Lax Kw’alaams community rejected $1.15 billion from the corporation in May for their approval of the project, but the provincial government granted the go-ahead in July. Now they need federal intervention to stop the project from being built around the Lelu Island and Flora Banks salmon spawning areas. From the tribes’ open letter to the Prime Minister: “PNW LNG is poised to cause irreparable damage to the second largest wild salmon run in Canada, and potential catastrophe for the fisheries economy thousands of people depend on.” The letter adds that despite decades of research that shows the area should never be developed, and without consulting First Nations, the federally governed Prince Rupert Port Authority advised Petronas to build there. The group said the economy not only of First Nations communities but all of northern B.C. is in jeopardy as the Skeena River salmon bring in excess of $100 million every year to the region from commercial and sport fishing.