The waters of Port Renfrew will be protected by a new multi-purpose marine facility co-managed by the Canadian Coast Guard and the Pacheedaht First Nation. (File photo)

The waters of Port Renfrew will be protected by a new multi-purpose marine facility co-managed by the Canadian Coast Guard and the Pacheedaht First Nation. (File photo)

New Coast Guard facility in the works for Port Renfrew

Multi-purpose centre will be co-managed by Pacheedaht First Nation to addresses TMX concerns

The federal government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Pacheedaht First Nation to build and co-manage a $22-million Coast Guard facility on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

The project is in response to the nation’s safety and environmental concerns over the Trans-Mountain Expansion Project (TMX).

The new Port Renfrew Multipurpose Marine Facility will provide search and rescue and environmental response services, and boost marine safety and response capacity in the Juan de Fuca Strait.

Completion in expected sometime in 2022.

READ MORE: Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Bernadette Jordan, Canada’s Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced the signing of the MOU June 29, praising the partnership for the prominent role played by the First Nation.

“We’re addressing concerns people have about building TMX safely and responsibly, but also in partnership — and that’s one of the key things,” Jordan said by telephone.

“The Pacheedaht First Nation saw a gap in our response capacity on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and so we’ve been working to co-develop this agreement within their territory.”

She added the new facility will also meet requests from the Coast Guard to expand their response capacity on the west coast.

What the co-management structure will look like is unclear at this time. Staffing numbers, vessel complement and other details are also unknown.

“How is going to be managed to who owns it; what’s going to be the development of it going forward? We’re going to work on a consensus basis with the First Nations community…” Jordan said.

Pacheedaht First Nation Chief Jeff Jones stated in a press release that construction of a marine safety centre in Pacheedaht territory has been a vision of the Nation for many years.

“It will help Pacheedaht exercise a greater role in protecting and managing the 112 kilometres of marine coastline, vast territorial waters and abundant resources. This MOU is a great step forward in building a government to government partnership between Pacheedaht First Nation and the Canadian Coast Guard.”

The MOU is the first achievement under the Co-Developing Community Response Initiative, a measure to help the government meet 156 conditions of the Trans Mountain pipeline twinning project. Key concerns among Indigenous communities along the marine route include increased risks associated with tanker traffic, as well as worries over the environment and impacts on cultural sites.

READ MORE: B.C. Indigenous leaders speak out after 150,000 litres of oil spill in Abbotsford

Despite the positive agreement with the Pacheedaht First Nation, the government-owned pipeline is mired in controversy and has faced numerous legal challenges from environmental and Indigenous groups. An oil spill at Trans Mountain’s Sumas Pump Station in Abbotsford last month prompted further backlash from Indigenous leaders across B.C. denouncing the project in favour of clean energy development.

Chief Dalton Silver of the Sumas First Nation noted the proposed pipeline expansion plans would run adjacent to the Lightning Rock site – a cultural site and burial grounds significant to the Sema:th First Nation and Stό:lō Coast Salish Peoples.

Minister Jordan said she hopes the MOU with the Pacheedaht First Nation will show Canadians the government is listening to Indigenous concerns.

-with files from Ben Lypka and Canadian Press



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

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

Just Posted

The scene of a single-vehicle crash along Dolphin Drive in Nanoose Bay on Monday morning, April 19. (Mandy Moraes photo)
RCMP: No injuries reported in rollover crash in Nanoose Bay

Police say passengers indicate driver left the scene

The Town of Qualicum Beach plans to establish temporary shelters. (Town of Qualicum Beach illustration)
Town of Qualicum Beach seeks $1.25M grant to build temporary housing units

Aim is to move tenants in prior to the end of 2021

Mount Arrowsmith Teachers’ Association and its Nanaimo-Ladysmith counterpart seek stricter COVID-19 rules. (PQB News file photo)
Mount Arrowsmith teachers’ union asks health authority for stricter COVID-19 measures

Teachers ask for vaccine, more online learning, mask mandate for primary students

Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department emergency response vehicle. (PQB News file photo)
Dashwood fire department issues warning to residents to hold off on yard debris burning

Fire chief: ‘Hold off on burning until we get some rain’

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read