Tahltan could reap millions from power line

The Tahltan could end up lending BC Hydro money to build the Northwest Transmission Line should they approve a wide ranging package of cash and benefits in a referendum now underway.

The Tahltan could end up lending BC Hydro money to build the Northwest Transmission Line should they approve a wide ranging package of cash and benefits in a referendum now underway.

No dollar value has been set on how much the Tahltan could provide the crown corporation for the line, which is to cost an estimated $404 million, but the rate of return would be equivalent to the BC bond rate, now at approximately four per cent, paid over 25 years.

The Tahltan have until the end of construction of the line, now pegged for the latter part of 2013, to decide if they want to make an investment.

Similar discussions have taken place with First Nations groups on other impact benefits agreements concerning the transmission line but it isn’t known if those have advanced as far as the opportunity presented the Tahltan.

Overall, BC Hydro officials say this is the first time the corporation has put such an investment proposal on the table that is tied to a specific project.

Tahltan Central Council president Annita McPhee said the investment proposal is an indication of how the Tahltan want to take part in development on their traditional territory.

“It certainly is an innovative approach,” said McPhee of the investment idea.

The investment opportunity is but one element of many that 2,800 Tahltan are being asked to approve of in referendum voting, which began April 8 and which ends this Friday.

Tahltan Central Council negotiators, subject to voter approval, have confirmed more than $15 million in benefits including cash payments, training and education and work tied to the transmission line’s construction.

The referendum continues a series of deals being struck between BC Hydro and First Nations as well as the Nisga’a Lisims Government tied to the construction of the $404 million power line.

They reflect the passage of the line through the traditional territory of First Nations and, in the case of the Nisga’a, through core Nisga’a lands and the Lava Bed Memorial Provincial Park, which is jointly managed by the Nisga’a and the provincial government.

In the case of the Tahltan, 70km of the line passes through Tahltan traditional territory and the end of the line, a substation at Bob Quinn, is on Tahltan traditional territory.

Through the same vote now going on, Tahltan are also being asked to approve of a broad framework to cover agreements with the provincial government concerning shared decision making, resource revenue sharing, managing social and cultural impacts and energy planning and management.

The Kitselas and the Metlakatla First Nations have also signed benefits agreements with BC Hydro but the Tahltan one is the first to go through a referendum.

The Nisga’a Lisims Government approved of its deal with BC Hydro in a session of its legislature.

 

Just Posted

UPDATED: Evacuation alert issued due to Dog Creek Trail Wildfire

UPDATED: The Dog Creek wildfire has grown substantially over the past two… Continue reading

Locals converge for Cannabis Community Consultation meeting

Public feedback taken into account as DOV moves forward

Holi Festival of Colours celebrated in Vanderhoof

Last weekend, around 20 Vanderhoof residents took part in Holi, a Hindu… Continue reading

College of New Caledonia announces early childhood educator training

Vanderhoof students may benefit from the program expansion

Vulnerable B.C. communities receive funds for structural flood mitigation

Communities throughout British Columbia that have been partial to flood risks in… Continue reading

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

ZONE 8: Williams Lake’s Gabby Knox is a 2nd-generation BC Games competitor

Both parents competed in softball, but Knox is making waves in the pool

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Most Read