Supreme Court petition launched by Blueberry River First Nation

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The Blueberry River First Nation has filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court seeking to reject the province’s LNG deal with Pacific NorthWest LNG.

The proposal sees the gas liquefied at a potential export facility near Prince Rupert by the Petronas-run company.

According to CBC News, the Blueberry River’s claim is that the Province ignored their treaty rights in reaching a long term royalty agreement with Progress Energy, among four other parties, to extract LNG from Montney.

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The petition also argues that the agreement with Progress Energy sets royalty rates the companies are obliged to pay the province for the next 23 years, and that they expect to drill 6,200 new wells and construct 14 gas plants in order to supply the facility.

The first nation claims this deal will also cause hundreds of roads and pipelines to be built in their territories.

The petition says, ‘the infrastructure development required by the long term royalty agreement and planned by Progress Energy would cause serious harm to Blueberry Rivers First Nations territory and treaty rights … it would destroy, fragment, pollute and otherwise disturb thousands of acres of animal habitat.’

B.C. Liberals announced the LNG agreements last May, as part of a future that is supposed to see investments of up to $36-billion US in the northern part of the province.

The deal is a commitment between the company and its partners to spend $3-billion on infrastructure in the next five years, and $1-billion per year on infrastructure and development.

The Blueberry River First Nation also claimed their treaty rights were violated when they filed a lawsuit last spring, in relation to Site-C.

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