Why the region of Kitimat supports Canadian LNG exports

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Rose Klukas, Economic Development Officer, District of Kitimat
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Rose Klukas, Economic Development Officer at District of Kitimat, Canada, will be speaking at the upcoming Canada LNG Export Conference & Exhibition this May in Calgary.

In the build up to the event, we asked Rose for her views on LNG developments in Kitimat.

Gastech News: How can the region of Kitimat benefit from the development of Canadian LNG exports?

Rose Klukas: Liquefied Natural Gas represents a tremendous opportunity for Kitimat and neighbouring communities like the Haisla Nation and the City of Terrace. Construction of pipelines and terminals will happen over several years providing an economic boost to the region. Over the long term there will be hundreds of well-paying jobs which of course contributes to the local economy. These projects will also pay municipal taxes, supporting public services and infrastructure. Kitimat recognizes the importance of diversity within our economy and while Rio Tinto Alcan operates an aluminum smelter and is wrapping up the construction of a brand new smelter in Kitimat sometime this year, the addition of LNG adds to that diversity.

As a community, we look for other opportunities including supporting the growth of our small business/commercial sector that also have more ability to develop in an economy bolstered by industrial growth. It’s an exciting time in Kitimat!

Gastech News: What are the main environmental considerations when evolving Canada’s LNG industry?

Rose Klukas: The impact that large scale industrial projects have on air and water are always a concern to local governments and residents. Upstream, in northeastern BC, ensuring groundwater is protected from the impacts of natural gas extraction processes is paramount. Upstream, midstream and downstream, attention must be paid to air and water quality.

Large scale projects are required to apply for environmental assessment certificates. In this process, these issues are addressed. As well, technological advancements have helped to mitigate environmental impacts considerably.

Gastech News: How to engage with local and aboriginal communities when developing LNG projects?

Rose Klukas: Kitimat recognizes the importance of its relationship with the Haisla Nation and encourages proponents to enter into and establish a relationship early in the process and maintain that contact. Our Haisla neighbours are supportive of many development opportunities, particularly natural gas projects like LNG. It is also critical to recognize the constitutional rights that First Nations have in Canada to consultation and accommodation any time industry is considering development on Crown lands. Proponents are also recognizing the need to engage with communities early on in the process. Those that get out in front of the public at the start and are forthcoming about their plans tend to have greater success in achieving the social licence necessary for these projects to go ahead.

What do you think? What should the industry do to maximise its engagement with Canadian local and aboriginal communities? Let us know your views below.

To meet Rose Klukas and over 450 global LNG leaders interested in discussing the next steps for fostering long-term partnerships within the Canadian LNG marketplace, attend the Canada LNG Export Conference and Exhibition this May in Calgary, Canada. Follow the banner below to find out how you can get involved.

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