Critical First Nation's Letter Surfaces after Woodfibre LNG Rubber-stamped

Bob Mackin
Artist rendering of proposed Woodfibre LNG plant.

A two-month-old letter from a First Nation that said granting an environmental assessment certificate to Woodfibre LNG would be a "legal error" was finally published after the BC Liberal government gave approval in principle to the project on Oct. 26. But it's unclear whether the First Nation's concerns were ever addressed.

The Aug. 18 letter from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation's chief negotiator to Environment Minister Mary Polak and Natural Gas Minister Rich Coleman urged the government not to issue the certificate before undertaking additional studies and assessment work.

"At this moment, the (Environmental Assessment Office's) assessment of the project is legally deficient, and B.C. has failed to discharge its legal and constitutional duty to consult and accommodate the Tsleil-Waututh Nation," said the 15-page letter, signed by Treaty, Lands and Resources director Ernie George, and published on the office's website.

"It would therefore be a legal error for you to issue an (environmental assessment) certificate for the project now. Doing so could jeopardize the regulatory approvals process for the project, and ultimately the project itself."