Ottawa hands reserve authority to B.C.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan announced regulations Tuesday to replace federal authority on reserve lands with B.C. regulation.

Artist's rendering shows proposed liquefied natural gas processing and loading facility on Haisla reserve land near Kitimat.

B.C.’s first liquefied natural gas project is to be built on Haisla Nation reserve land, and now the province will be able to regulate its industrial and environmental terms.

Federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan announced new regulations Tuesday to replace federal authority on reserve lands with B.C. regulation.

That means the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission can regulate the project, proposed by Apache Canada and Chevron Canada on Douglas Channel near Kitimat.

“This has been a long process, but everyone’s delighted,” Duncan said in an interview from Vancouver after the announcement.

“There have been no delays to the actual project, because they’ve been operating under some interim agreements with the province in terms of permitting.”

The B.C. government passed similar legislation last spring, to govern the Kitimat LNG project and a four-tower condominium commercial development proposed for the Squamish Nation reserve in West Vancouver.

Without such changes, provincial building codes and environmental laws for burning, emissions and water and land use do not apply to reserves.

Duncan said the delegation of reserve land use is a new approach to promoting reserve development.

It has been used for a sawmill at the Fort William First Nation near Thunder Bay, industrial development in Alberta, and there is “strong interest in Atlantic Canada,” Duncan said.

Just Posted

Gitdumden checkpoint blocks access to Unist’ot’en camp

Wet’suwet’en clan members say Morice Lake Forest Service Rd checkpoint in effect until further notice.

Column: Windows can be bad news for birds

Dianne Bersea is a member of the South Okanagan Naturalists Club

23-year-old missing from Prince George since Dec. 1

Kari Baxter has a dreamcatcher tattoo on her neck

Passport services expanded to 300 locations across Canada

At Service Canada outlets officers can review applications, validate supporting documents, collect fees and forward applications

Two Vanderhoof students awarded scholarships for post-secondary education

Indigenous students awarded to further their studies

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

Most Read