VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 5, 2014) -
Editor's Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.
Northern Gateway and its partners today announced that the Hon. Jim Prentice will lead renewed efforts to consult with and establish partnerships with First Nations and Aboriginal communities in British Columbia and Alberta. This will build on agreements already in place with 26 existing Aboriginal equity partners.
"I am doing this because I believe that First Nations should be full partners in resource development and they should be owners of projects like the Northern Gateway," said Prentice. "This project can bring jobs, economic opportunity, community development and educational opportunities to First Nation Canadians. This can be achieved while protecting the environment and respecting First Nation's environmental priorities. I have repeatedly said that the Northern Gateway project represents an opportunity for Aboriginal Peoples and the country."
"When we received the positive report of the Joint Review Panel in December, we said that this was only one step in the process and that we had some hard work ahead of us. We made it our first priority to reach out in a respectful way to Aboriginal communities - and we're committed to putting our best foot forward to further build trust. We believe Jim Prentice is uniquely suited to help us fulfill that promise," said Al Monaco, President and CEO, Enbridge Inc. "We value the constructive relationships we've built with our existing Aboriginal equity partners and we'll continue to work with them to realize meaningful opportunities while ensuring we safeguard BC's natural environment."
Jim Prentice is a former federal Minister of Indian Affairs Northern Development, and has spent 30 years working closely with First Nations. As a lawyer he successfully negotiated land claim settlements. He later served as the Co-Chair of Canada's Specific Claims Commission. As INAC Minister, Prentice negotiated the Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. He also reformed the Specific Claims process. Mr. Prentice oversaw the Maa-nulth and Tsawwassen First Nation Settlements in British Columbia and the conclusion of the Gwaii Hanas Marine Conservation Area Agreement with the Haida. He has consistently advocated economic partnerships with First Nations.
Steve Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer, Suncor Energy, one of the energy companies partnering with Enbridge in the Northern Gateway project, speaking on behalf of the Northern Gateway Partners said "The Partners and Enbridge are keen to listen and open up further dialogue with Aboriginal communities. We welcome the role that Jim Prentice will lead to help us build trust and construct respectful economic partnerships."
The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has agreed to make Mr. Prentice available for this role because CIBC believes in the importance of this project to both First Nations and to Canada. Mr. Prentice has taken on this role in his capacity as Senior Executive Vice President and Vice Chairman of CIBC.
About Northern Gateway
The Northern Gateway Project is a proposed 1,177-km twin pipeline system and marine terminal. The proposed project would transport 525,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil for export and import 193,000 bpd of condensate. Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) (NYSE:ENB) is working in partnership with leading Canadian and international energy companies, including Suncor Energy, Cenovus Inc., MEG Energy Corp. and First Nations and Metis communities in B.C. and Alberta. For more information, please visit www.gatewayfacts.ca.
Backgrounder The Honourable Jim Prentice
The Hon. Jim Prentice has worked successfully with Canada's First Nations over the course of a 30-year career in both the private and public sectors.
As a lawyer, during the 1990's, Mr. Prentice worked as an independent negotiator for the Alberta government in the successful resolution of First Nation claims in northern Alberta. He was appointed to Canada's Indian Claims Commission in 1992 and served for a decade as a Commissioner and as the Co-Chair of the Indian Claims Commission of Canada.
Elected as the Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre North in 2004, he was named Indian and Northern Affairs critic while in Opposition. In 2006, with the election of the Conservative government, Mr. Prentice was named to Cabinet as Minister for Indian and Northern Affairs.
In that portfolio, he negotiated the Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which compensated 78,000 First Nations survivors and established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address the legacy of the Indian Residential School system.
That was followed in 2006 by a role in framing British Columbia's First Nations Education Agreement which provided First Nations with jurisdiction over their schools. On the west coast of Vancouver Island, Mr. Prentice supervised the Maa-nulth Treaty Settlement, among the first Final Settlements reached under the B.C. Treaty process. In 2007, he oversaw the first Lower Mainland Final Agreement between the Tsawwassen First Nation, British Columbia and the federal government.
In 2009, as federal Environment Minister, he oversaw the conclusion of an agreement with the Haida establishing the Gwaii Hanas Marine Conservation Area. That same year he ensured that First Nations were represented in Canada's delegation to the UN Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen, inviting National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Shawn Atleo.
Since returning to the private sector in 2010, Mr. Prentice has consistently advocated for the inclusion of First Nations when it comes to constructing west coast access for Canadian energy exports. In 2010, at the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy, Mr. Prentice referred to the need for a west coast energy corridor to move beyond regulatory approval to "full social license" including "the central participation of the First Nations of British Columbia."
Addressing the 34th annual Assembly of First Nation in Whitehorse in July 2013, he urged the audience to "move expeditiously, getting to the negotiating table to represent your own interests." "Once you sit down, the objective is to achieve economic participation…the duty to consult is not an end, but a beginning."
Following the National Energy Board's endorsement of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline in December 2013, Mr. Prentice wrote in the Globe and Mail that "The critical issue still to be negotiated, is the full economic participation of First Nations….and the ongoing need for respectful dialogue."
Jim Prentice is the Senior Executive Vice President and Vice Chairman of CIBC.
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