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Dec. 11 2013
First Nations leaders in British Columbia are seeking multibillion-dollar loan guarantees from the federal government to enable them to take ownership stakes in various liquefied natural gas projects being planned in the province, and have also travelled to China and Japan looking for backers.
The bid to raise financing comes as the Assembly of First Nations launches an effort to forge an aboriginal national energy strategy, which would be based on treaty rights, sustainable development and the need for impoverished communities to benefit from the massive resource development that Canada expects over the next decade.
“What is absolutely clear is that unless First Nations are included as full partners in development, the prospects for projects proceeding are negligible,” said Dave Porter, chief executive of British Columbia First Nations Energy and Mining Council.
He said aboriginal communities will resort to the courts if Ottawa presses ahead over their objections with pipeline projects such as Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway.