John Jack of Huu-ay-aht First Nations has been named to the First Nations LNG Alliance for 2018-19. SUBMITTED PHOTO

John Jack of Huu-ay-aht First Nations has been named to the First Nations LNG Alliance for 2018-19. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Port Alberni’s John Jack joins First Nations LNG Alliance

Jack represents Huu-ay-aht First Nations’ Kwispaa LNG project

John Alan Jack, an elected councillor of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations on Vancouver Island and chairman of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, has joined the board of the First Nations LNG Alliance of BC.

On the board, he succeeds Robert J. Dennis Sr., the elected chief councillor for Huu-ay-aht First Nations.

Jack leads planning for the Huu-ay-aht on the Kwispaa LNG project with Vancouver-based Steelhead LNG. The project proposes an LNG processing and export terminal at Nuumaqimyiis Bay (also known as Sarita Bay), on Huu-ay-aht territory in the Bamfield region.

With a final investment decision anticipated in 2020, the first phase of the project is expected to be operational by the end of 2024. Kwispaa is still being considered for environmental assessments at the provincial level.

The Huu-ay-aht community voted 70 percent in favour of the project in March 2017. And in October this year Steelhead LNG filed its formal Project Description with the BC Environmental Assessment Office and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

“Because of the processes that we went through, and because of the nature of LNG in BC, we found it was a good fit for our nation, which is a self-governing treaty nation,” Jack said.

“And because of the working relationship (with Steelhead) that we were able to create, and because of the necessity of LNG in Canada and in BC, I think what we’ll find is that this is a project that works really well.”

The Huu-ay-aht developed a unique “co-management relationship” with Steelhead: An oversight board of three Huu-ay-aht representatives and three from Steelhead oversees the over-all project. And Chief Councillor Dennis sits on Steelhead’s corporate board.

Says Jack: “It’s an effective way of protecting our interests, as well as helping to create value in British Columbia, in Canada, and the world economy.”

The Huu-ay-aht nation has about 700 members, with about 150 living on reserve.

“John is a smart, strategic, and hard-working member of his Nation and its council,” says Karen Ogen-Toews, CEO of the First Nations LNG Alliance. “We’re delighted to have him join our board.”

The First Nations LNG Alliance is a collective of First Nations who are participating in, and supportive of, sustainable and responsible LNG development in BC.