Highway 37 Power Line Coalition

Highway 37 Power Line Coalition

March 18, 2009 16:37 ET

Highway 37 Power Line Coalition: Northwest First Nations Leaders Meet to Discuss Advancing Participation in the Northwest Transmission Line Initiative

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 18, 2009) - Northwest First Nations leadership met together with other members of the Highway 37 Powerline Coalition on March 13, hosted by the City of Terrace, to discuss the potential for organizing equity participation and environmental design leadership in the 517 km transmission project from Terrace to Dease Lake.

Industry executives involved in proposed mining and clean energy projects attended to support the discussions by First Nations Leadership.

Powerline Coalition Co-chair Elmer Derrick, Gitxsan Hereditary Chief, said, "We have an opportunity to provide First Nations leadership to this project and demonstrate our high standards of environmental design and monitoring joining together and supported by the 40 communities of the Northern Development Initiative Trust and industry, to create jobs for our communities and provide our youth with a sense of hope and clarity for the future. On behalf of the coalition I have met with Tlingit, Tahltan, Haida and community leadership in southeast Alaska and they are all supporting our success because of their interests in power generation and seeing transmission infrastructure develop in Northwest BC."

Annita McPhee, leader of the Tahltan Nation, was optimistic that an agreed upon assessment and consultation process with the Province and BC Hydro will provide the Tahltan with the resources to make an informed decision about the possible benefits from the project as well as the impacts on Tahltan Title and Rights.

Gitanyow Chief Glen Williams, a founding member of the coalition who attended the meeting, was confident that the First Nations could ensure that the integrity of wildlife and salmon habitat along a transmission line corridor was a priority in the realization of economic benefits and jobs for the region.

The transmission line is seen as an opportunity for northern leadership in the economy and environment. The project has the potential to attract 2,000 megawatts of green power generation, $15 billion in investments and create 11,000 jobs. The group lauded the provincial commitment of $250 million towards the construction of the line, and will be meeting with potential federal and private infrastructure funding partners in the near future.

About the Highway 37 Power Line Coalition: The coalition represents communities, the Northern Development Initiative Trust, First Nations, non-profit organizations, mineral exploration and mining companies, independent power producers, joint venture First Nations companies and individuals committed to the construction of a high voltage transmission line from Terrace to Dease Lake, British Columbia, and perhaps beyond. The coalition is committed to sustainable economic development in Northwestern British Columbia and believes electrical infrastructure is the key to the future of British Columbia's Northwest.

Contact Information

  • Gitxan Hereditary Chiefs
    Chief Elmer Derrick
    Coalition Co-chair
    (250) 615-6469
    Northern Development Initiative Trust
    Janine North, CEO
    Coalition Co-chair
    (250) 561-2525