LETTERS: Malahat LNG proponents respond to recent forum

The potential impact of the proposed project on the Saanich Inlet has been highlighted as a significant concern by many community members.

On behalf of the Malahat Nation and the Malahat LNG Project Team, we would like to thank the local residents who attended LNG town hall hosted by the District of North Saanich on May 31.

We would also like to acknowledge the WSÁNEC Nations who hosted us on their traditional lands.

Several people at the session asked why we don’t have detailed answers to specific questions. We wanted to announce the project at the early design phase so that we could sit down with people to listen at an early stage. We felt it was important not to come with answers, but with a concept and questions that we could discuss together.

The discussions we’ve had in the community over the last nine months have directly impacted the types of studies we’ve commissioned and how we investigate the potential impacts of the proposed project.

The potential impact of the proposed project on the Saanich Inlet has been highlighted as a significant concern by many community members.

Based on that feedback, we are developing a comprehensive 3D model of the Inlet to better investigate potential impacts and fully understand the area. The model will assist in simulating tides, currents and the complex inflows and outflows of the Inlet, and build on the excellent science that already exists from the University of Victoria and others. This model will ultimately be shared with local scientists to assist with their ongoing studies as well.

We share local residents’ passion for ensuring future development progresses in a responsible and sustainable manner. As well, the Malahat Nation takes its centuries-old obligation to protect, preserve and remediate the Saanich Inlet very seriously.

We know there are some members of the community who have strong opinions about the potential project and B.C.’s liquefied natural gas industry in general. As we continue to move forward together, our commitment to the community is to share information, listen to concerns and respond with accurate information.

We believe working collaboratively with potentially impacted Aboriginal groups and local communities will make the proposed project better, and a vigorous community conversation is an important part of that process. Over the coming months, we will be preparing our Project Description for submission to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency later this year, at which point we’ll have more information to share.

In the meantime we encourage people to visit our website: malahatlng.com or contact our community team members at info@malahatlng.com.

 

Nathan Gloag, Project Manager, Steelhead LNG and Renee Racette, CEO Malahat Nation