Petronas LNG project opposed by four BC First Nations, citing risks to their salmon habitat

The proposed $11 billion Petronas LNG project on Lelu Island (south of Prince Rupert) is being opposed by four British Columbia First Nations.

The First Nations that are against the project include Lake Babine, Gitxsan, Gitanyow, and Wet’suwet’en.

Representatives from all four areas went to Vancouver and held a news conference where they expressed their concerns. The main reason why they are against the project is because of the risk it poses to their salmon habitat.

Glen Williams, Gitanyow First Nations chief negotiator, said that the lack of consultation regarding project, located on the Skeena River’s most critical salmon habitat, is “shocking”.

Williams said:

“We have written CEAA several times since spring 2013 to express our concerns with the project and requested bilateral consultation,”

“The Crown has refused, stating that because of the distance between our traditional lands and the terminal, it is not required.”

The Petronas project would have a huge negative impact on the livelihood of the people in the area and affect the area’s salmon industry.

There is “concrete scientific evidence”, according to Williams, that the development would drastically affect the salmon in the river area.

He said:

“Studies show that altering or destroying crucial habitat in the estuary will significantly damage the abundance and health of Skeena salmon, which are the essential foundation of First Nations’ constitutionally protected right to fish throughout the watershed,”