Canada's Kitimat liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, one of ten proposed across the country, took another step towards realization this week, as respected Member of Parliament Bob Rae from the Liberal Party agreed to become the new chairman of the board of a partnership of 15 "First Nations" (Canada's official term designating Native Americans) that is preparing to implement a pipeline to carry the LNG to the terminal on the Pacific Ocean coast of British Columbia. Rae is resigning from Parliament at the end of the month in order to assume his new duties.
First elected in 1978, Rae moved to provincial politics, becoming the New Democratic Party's first Premier of Ontario from 1990 to 1995, later re-entering Parliament in 2008 as a member of the Liberal Party, of which he also served as interim Leader from 2011 until earlier this year.
In the words of a member of the executive committee of the partnership that Rae will chair, he has "a proven track record of genuine concern for First Nations and the advancement of their interests." The partnership's full name is FN (PTP) Group Limited Partnership, where FN stands for "First Nations" and PTP is the Pacific Trails Pipeline, which is the pipeline component of the Kitimat LNG Project. The partnership itself is often simply abbreviated "FNLP". The 15 First Nations in the FNLP all lie along the PTP's proposed route.
The Kitimat LNG project is one of several export plans for Canada's Pacific Coast as companies producing and exploring for shale gas in British Columbia seeks overseas markets in order to improve on prices that it would otherwise receive from the United States, which is at present the sole purchaser of much of Canada's energy production, including oil.
The Kitimat terminus for the LNG project, a venture of Apache Corp and Chevron, would be located on Haisla First Nation land, in the Village of Kitimaat. It would be able to load an initial capacity of 5 million tons of LNG annually, which could double over time.
The gas would come principally from the shale gas development in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, which is shared between Alberta and British Columbia. The PTP itself would be entirely within the boundaries of British Columbia. The gas would be destined for Asian markets. The Haisla Nation is favorable to the project, and federal and provincial environmental statements have already been issued.
By. Robert M. Cutler