British Columbia Premier Christy Clark, right, listens to Chief Michael LeBourdais, of the Whispering Pines-Clinton Indian Band in the Shuswap First Nation near Kamloops, B.C., after addressing a gathering of First Nations leaders and B.C. cabinet ministers in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday September 10, 2015. Hundreds of First Nations leaders have given approval in principle to a reconciliation agreement that is viewed as a road map for future economic, social and legal relations between aboriginals and the British Columbia government. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Trans Mountain stake should go to Indigenous owners on route, B.C. chief says

Project Reconciliation is asking for support from Indigenous communities through B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan

The chairman of a B.C. indigenous group seeking to buy a stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline says Ottawa should favour communities along the route when deciding who can make an ownership bid.

Chief Michael LeBourdais of Whispering Pines Clinton Indian Band near Kamloops, B.C., says for that reason he supports the efforts of the Iron Coalition over rival Project Reconciliation.

READ MORE: More gasoline, less bitumen in Trans Mountain pipeline, B.C. premier urges Trudeau

Iron Coalition announced Wednesday it is inviting First Nations and Metis groups from across Alberta to join its bid team, promising all resulting profits will be split equally among members.

Project Reconciliation, on the other hand, is asking for support from Indigenous communities throughout B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan, and plans to place 80 per cent of the cash flow from the pipeline stake into a “sovereign wealth fund” to invest in environmentally friendly projects.

LeBourdais says it makes more sense for his organization, the Western Indigenous Pipeline Group, and Iron Coalition to be owners of the pipeline because Trans Mountain brings oil and refined products from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C. — it doesn’t pass through Saskatchewan.

Ottawa is to make a final decision on whether the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline can proceed by June 18, with a positive decision expected to accelerate attention to its vow to sell the asset it bought for $4.5 billion last summer.

“Here’s the difference between us and Project Reconciliation,” LeBourdais said.

READ MORE: Senate chooses not to kill oil tanker ban bill in northern B.C.

“We’re the ones bearing all the risk because the pipe goes through my reserve, goes through my traditional territory. These are my rivers, my salmon. We’re bearing all the risk. So we should have more say.”

He said communities in B.C. and Alberta are the “title and rights holders” when it comes to the pipeline.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Teen accused in Abbotsford attack on 85-year-old convicted of firearms offence

Brandon Janveaux found in vehicle in Chilliwack with .22-calibre rifle down his pants

Dad of missing Abbotsford woman charged after allegedly exposing himself in park

Barry Shpeley charged with sexual assault and assault at Hougen Park

Not over yet: Mixture of snow, freezing rain on way as winter storm tapers in Lower Mainland

Environment Canada releases weather alert for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

VIDEO: Semi-truck driver records 22 crashes in one trip from Chilliwack to Abbotsford

‘Treacherous’ morning had emergency crews struggling to reach stranded drivers

Buses running and schools are open Friday in the Chilliwack school district

All facilities are open Jan. 17 including daycares, preschools and the Neighbourhood Learning Centre

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Crown won’t appeal sentence in child sex assault case of former Burns Lake mayor

B.C. Prosecution Service said sentence doesn’t meet standard for appeal

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Sub-zero B.C. weather freezes clothing in just 45 minutes

A local photographer decided to have some fun with the frosty weather before its gone

Most Read