Foreign LNG push opposed by a northern B.C. community

The Kispiox Valley Declaration is signed by 160 residents who opposed the LNG push backed by multinational corporations from all corners of Asia Pacific

Kispiox Valley residents against LNG - Brian Huntington
Some 50 northern residents protesting a LNG pipeline open house two weeks ago, in Hazelton, B.C. - photo by Brian Huntington

Contrary to the LNG (liquefied natural gas) fanfare promoted by the Premier and a multinational energy industry, a group of northern B.C. residents have signed a declaration banning LNG as bad for salmon, the environment and their northern economy.

“This is about foreign owned multi-national corporations who are taking our resources out of the country,” said Todd Stockner, a salmon guide outfitter who lives in the Kispiox Valley, north of Hazleton, B.C.

“I think it’s sort of sad that the wealth of our country is not being used for the benefit of British Columbians.  We’re doing deals for our natural resource wealth, and the bulk of the value goes overseas.”

“We end up with the problems left from pipeline development, and industrial impacts of the terminals on the coast – with very little benefits.”

“This is resource exploitation.  This is not economic development.”

160 people have signed the Kispiox Valley Declaration, representing some 70 percent of the valley’s rural residents said Stockner.  

They live in an area critical to billions of dollars worth of LNG terminals, because two giant proposed pipelines would tresspass near their homes.

“You have a large majority of a community that is right in the path line for one of the routes for the pipelines saying, ‘this isn’t going to happen here,’ said Stockner.

The residents say the coastal facilities would harm the habitat of the salmon and steelhead fish that they rely on for tourism dollars and food.

Two Canadian companies are seeking to build the connecting pipelines: TransCanada’s $5-billion Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project,and Spectra Energy’s $8-billion Westcoast Connector Gas Transmission Project.

Multinationals to run LNG terminals

But running the coastal LNG terminals near Prince Rupert will be foreign companies, from all corners of Asia Pacific:

  • Pacific Northwest LNG” ($9-billion) - Malaysia, Brueni and Indian interests
  • Prince Rupert LNG” ($16-billion) – proposed by UK’s “BG Group”
  • Woodside Energy LNG” (unknown value) – proposed by an Australian petroleum company
  • Aurora LNG” (unknown value) - backed by Chinese state and Japanese oil companies

Two more terminal proposals – “WCC LNG” (backed by Imperial Oil and ExxonMobil) and “TritonLNG” (by AltaGas) are also contemplating terminals in the vicinity. 

Stockner said there’s so many industrial proposals, it’s hard to keep on top of it all.

All eight LNG companies were contacted for comment on the Kispiox Valley Declaration.  Woodside Energy in Perth declined to comment, and BG Group, headquartered in the UK, had this to say:

“BG Group understands and respects that the environment, including fish and wildlife habitat and particularly the Skeena River, is of great cultural and commercial importance to the people of northern BC.”

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