Tsawwassen First Nation turns down proposed LNG facility

Plus, Shaw acquires Wind Mobile and Hootsuite founder addresses Premier on tech fund

LNG killed
On December 16, members of the Tsawwassen First Nation narrowly defeated the proposed development of a liquefied natural gas export facility on Tsawwassen territory. Despite support for the proposal from Chief Bryce Williams and TFN leadership, 53 per cent of the 139 people who voted rejected the project. As a result, the TFN announced in a press release that it will “not be moving forward with any additional discussion regarding this proposed LNG concept.”

The facility would have produced three to five million tonnes of LNG annually, using natural gas from an extension of an existing pipeline about 10 km away. Premier Christy Clark, in keeping with her billion-dollar plans for LNG production across the province, had expressed support for the proposal in November.

A separate vote by TFN members gave consent for the executive council to negotiate leases of up to 60 years on the remaining 180 acres of designated industrial land. The TFN Economic Development Corporation will continue to seek tenants for this land based on light industrial and warehousing uses. All leases must be approved by TFN members. 

Wind beneath Shaw’s wings
Shaw Communications announced today a $1.6-billion deal to acquire Wind Mobile Corp., enabling the company to add wireless services to its current offerings of fibre, cable, and WiFi. “This transaction represents a transformational step in the history of Shaw and we are excited about our future growth prospects in mobile,” said CEO Brad Shaw in a release.

Wind Mobile serves approximately 940,000 subscribers across B.C., Alberta and Ontario. It has achieved a 47 per cent increase in its subscriber base over the past two years and is expected to generate $485 million in revenue in 2015. Wind CEO Alek Krstajic will remain with the company and said that he expects the deal to help Wind “enter into a new phase of growth.” 

Holmes pens Premier
Hootsuite founder and CEO Ryan Holmes responded yesterday to Premier Christy Clark’s recent announcement of a $100-million venture capital fund to support B.C. tech companies. In a Facebook post, Holmes applauded Clark’s commitment to technology but added his “two cents and a few thoughts.” Rather than putting all the money in the hands of venture capitalists, he suggested she should dedicate half of it to investing in technology education, education awareness, and business development “to create incentives for the Amazons, Facebooks, etc., of the world to create engineering and customer support centres in B.C.” This plan, he wrote, would result in thousands of high-paying jobs and encourage well-educated alumni to generate their own startups.