Lawyers for the Lax Kw’alaams Band appeared in court this week to appeal the provincial government’s proposal that would effectively limit our ability to develop our reserve and title territory.
Along with the federal government and the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta, Lax Kw’alaams Council feels the British Columbia government does not have the jurisdiction to effectively veto new energy projects which would bring economic benefits to communities such as Lax Kw’alaams.
The Band is always looking for other sources of economic opportunity for the Lax Kw’alaams people. The Council objects to having the Band’s needs, aspirations, rights and options in its traditional territory thwarted by proposed legislation without an opportunity for consultation.
An oil pipeline proposal known as Eagle Spirit Energy is one proposal that could potentially bring jobs, training and economic activity to Lax Kw’alaams. Eagle Spirit Energy is not a Band project, and has not been reviewed by Band Council or the community, but served as one example of the sort of economic opportunities that could be eliminated by government interference in our traditional territory.
The Band has in place robust community consultation processes when assessing and potentially approving energy project proposals involving Lax Kw’alaams. These processes were implemented in recent years for the cancelled Pacific Northwest LNG project.
A decision regarding this court case is expected in the coming months.