Kitsumkalum First Nation held its Joint Venture Round-up from May 25 to 26. (Photo courtesy Diane Collins)Binny Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published 09:28 May 30, 2022

By Binny Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Kitsumkalum First Nation held its annual joint venture forum last week, which saw several stakeholders come together to discuss economic development opportunities in northwest B.C.

Kitsumkalum Economic Development Group General Manager Diane Collins said the community “is really an exciting place” for development opportunities.

Partners from the northwest B.C. First Nation’s 18 joint ventures across industrial sectors were at the meeting held May 25 – 26.

Industry representatives operating in the area also gave presentations at the Kitsumkalum Community Hall.

Some of the organizations included LNG Canada (LNGC), Enbridge, Vopak Development Canada, The driving Force, Kalum Logistics Park, and Westcore Logistics among others.

Also in attendance were Skeena BC Liberal MLA Ellis Ross and Daniel Baker, Skeena district representative for the ministry of transportation and infrastructure.

Talking about the joint venture partnerships, Collins said that the round-up provides a platform for exchange of ideas.

“They are [industry] eager to learn about us, we’re eager to learn about them and their businesses and we are wanting to bring solutions to projects,” Collins said.

“I think with that type of attitude we could be possibly great opportunities to work together on projects in northwest.”

Kitsumkalum has an existing economic benefit agreement with LNGC and aims to build a spectrum of joint ventures going forward.

Collins said they are learning through interacting with the oil and gas giant, which is building a $40 billion facility in Kitimat, so that they can accommodate bigger projects in the future.

Talking about contracting and safety protocols, Collins says there are lot of challenges when it comes to working with big scale projects.

“They’ve often said that [LNGC] is the largest project that Canada has ever done but the country does not have the safety protocols and the document control protocols that mega projects normally run under globally,” she said.

“So there’s been a real ramp up and learning how to deal with that, right.”

She said small and middle range businesses are the backbone that drives economies.

“And so what we want to do is we want to make sure that we’ve got companies that will be able to support us in the development and the growth.”

This item reprinted with permission from Terrace Standard, Terrace, British Columbia