Sometimes a change in leadership can mean a change in direction.
Not so with the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation regarding West Coast Olefins’ plans to build a petrochemical plant in the BCR Industrial site and an extraction plant in Pineview.
“I want the federal government, the B.C. government, and our local government partners to be clear in our position about this company and these projects,” said Dolleen Logan, Lheidli T’enneh chief at a news conference Wednesday. “I want the Canadian financial and energy sectors to be very clear about our position. WCOL is not welcome in our territory and on our unceded ancestral lands.”
The declaration follows former Chief Dayi Clay Pountney’s opposition to the plant. Pountney voiced his opposition to the plant last year after West Coast Olefins CEO Ken James told a business television program that the local community and the local First Nations are supportive of this.
Following that announcement, West Coast Olefins reached a tentative deal to work with the McLeod Lake Indian Band to locate the plant north of the city. However, in December, McLeod Lake Indian Band Chief Harley Chingee pulled its support for the project and the two bands decided to work on developing an industrial park north of Prince George.
West Coast Olefins then announced it would go back to its original plan of locating its proposed $5.6 billion plant in the BCR Industrial Site.
“The CEO of WCOL Ken James is not listening,” said Logan. “… Our communities have stated repeatedly that we want nothing to do with Ken James or WCOL. He is ignoring the fact that we own our unceded ancestral lands and that to gain approval from both the federal and B.C. governments for such projects, you must have our support. One has to wonder what is motivating Ken James to continue to try and convince people in Prince George that his project is viable?”
Logan said she has been receiving calls from Pineview residents about their position on the project.
“I want to be very clear with everyone that WCOL is not welcome in our territory and on our unceded ancestral lands,” she said. “Hopefully, one of these days Ken James will get the message and move on.”
The proposed Pineview extraction plant would extract propane, butane, and natural gas condensates from Enbridge’s natural gas pipeline and send it to the proposed petrochemical plant in BCR Industrial area. The project is currently in the consultation and notification stage of the Oil and Gas Commission regulatory process.
The plant will also require approval from the Agricultural Land Commission.