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

Vanderhoof eligible for up to $6M in provincial infrastructure funding

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Over 2,000 people used the pool in the first 2-weeks

Lifeguard training course needs a minimum of six people to register before Feb. 21

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

B.C. VIEWS: Power politics wins over rational energy policy

B.C Hydro continues to face interference on rates

PR firm suspends contract with former B.C. premier amid groping accusation

Edelman says in a statement that Campbell has served as a special adviser to the firm since last July

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Most Read