The Lheidli T’enneh and the McLeod Lake Indian Band are hoping to develop at industrial park north of the city near Summit Lake.
The bands have formed a partnership to develop the proposed industrial park on 1,000 acres of Crown land east of Summit Lake, which they hope to purchase from the province.
“This industrial park re-ignites the trading partnership we’ve had with the McLeod Lake Indian Band for thousands of years,” said Lheidli T’enneh Chief Clayton Pountney.
Pountney said there have been a number of industrial projects proposed for the Prince George area lately and this new industrial park would enable some major projects to move out of the city’s airshed. West Coast Olefins’ $5.6 billion petrochemical plant is, of course, the largest and most significant. The Lheidli T’enneh have publicly stated they do not support the plant and when asked if this could be a location for West Coast Olefins’ plant, he said discussions are ongoing with prospective tenants.
Earlier this year the McLeod Lake Indian Band reached an agreement with West Coast Olefins to locate the plant in its territory. The deal with the McLeod Lake Indian Band is a binding term sheet that outlines the key terms that will underpin an impact benefits agreement related to the natural gas liquids recovery plant that the company is planning to construct within the band’s traditional territory.
The McLeod Lake Indian Band and West Coast Olefins have been looking for a suitable location for the plant and Chief Harley Chingee said the industrial site will likely be part of ongoing discussions with West Coast Olefins.
The new park will be called Shas Ti – Dlezeh Industrial Park and is located in the North Fraser area.
“Our two communities have a history of being trading partners and it only makes sense that we work together with Lheidli T’enneh and jointly pursue this new business opportunity,” said Chingee. “Not only will development of Shas Ti – Dlezeh Industrial Park benefit our communities and other First Nations, but it will also provide long term benefits to both the economies of Prince George and Mackenzie.”
Pountney added the proposed new industrial park “will meet our environmental standards, as well as maximize economic benefits to our communities and the region.”
Much of the site has been logged, said Pountney, however the two will have secure ownership and tenants before developing the site further.
Years ago the City of Prince George and Regional District of Fraser-Fort George designated 1,000 acres of land for the Hart North Industrial Site between Salmon Valley and the city, which is also undeveloped and yet to secure a tenant.