Rustad optimistic about progress with First Nations on LNG industry

first_imgRustad however says that the government is working not only on new agreements that will benefit First Nations when it comes to LNG developments, but on updating old ones that better reflect the impacts of the LNG industry. “We’re working with specifically the Treaty 8 Nations. We have five current economic benefit agreements in place to see benefits flowing to the First Nations with regards to the natural gas extraction. We are in the process of negotiating some new agreements and we’ll also be in the process of updating the existing economic benefit agreements. Those agreements when they were set up were before we envisioned the kind of activity that may happen if we can get the liquefied natural gas happening.” Today was the final day of the First Nations LNG Summit which had been held at the Pomeroy Hotel. The summit was the third of its kind after previous events were held in Prince George and Prince Rupert. Rustad says the goal was to inform First Nations as to what makes up the LNG industry and to exchange ideas on the subject. “There’s been a series of summits to discuss what liquefied natural gas is and to answer some basic questions, get into details, and create networking opportunities,” he explains. “This is the third in that series of summits here in Fort St. John. There’s a number of breakout sessions and speeches and other things that are going on to provide that information and to provide that climate for exchange of ideas and networking that can create those opportunities” Rustad adds that the government wanted to hear from First Nations about their concerns and is encouraging those in favour of LNG to be sensitive to issues that are brought forward regarding heritage and the environment. – Advertisement -“We are very interested in engaging with First Nations. We have been now for quite some time. It’s about building that respect and finding out the issues that need to be taken into consideration and trying to encourage the proponents to be sensitive to cultural heritage and environmental concerns that are brought forward,” he states. “In British Columbia we are probably the envy of many jurisdictions in the world. We have some of the highest standards anywhere with regards to natural gas extraction and our environmental standards and we’re very proud of that.”West Moberly First Nations Chief Roland Willson said on Tuesday that while the province is discussing the LNG industry, there are trust issues for First Nations given obligations not fulfilled by the province.“The province is coming to the table to talk about an agreement around LNG and shale gas, primarily around the pipelines that are being proposed so that’s a start. We need to see where they are going to come from with that. Typically they start very low. We have to fight and scratch our way to get any kind of meaningful benefit out of it. There’s a lot of broken promises up here. They tell us one thing and go and do something else and that’s status quo for the province. They haven’t lived up to too many of their obligations up here. We’re pretty jaded and reserved in our discussions with them.Advertisementlast_img read more

BASEBALL NOTEBOOK Braves set to let free agent Jones depart

first_img“I’m fine with it,” Jones told The Associated Press when reached on his cell phone. “I’m appreciative of the chance they gave me to play for Atlanta all these years. I understand the decision they have to make. That’s just the way it is. It’s a business.” Indeed, the move was not unexpected as the 30-year-old Jones batted only .222 in the final season of his $75 million contract. He’s eligible to file for free agency after the World Series. “It just doesn’t work for us,” Schuerholz said. “It doesn’t demean or diminish everything he’s done.” The Braves plan to use the money they’ll save on Jones to bolster their starting rotation – a glaring weakness beyond John Smoltz and Tim Hudson – and to sign first baseman Mark Teixeira, who made $9 million this year and is eligible for arbitration. Still, it was the end of an era in Atlanta. Jones first joined the Braves as a 19-year-old, hitting two homers in his first World Series game at Yankee Stadium in 1996. He has been one of the game’s greatest defensive outfielders, winning nine straight Gold Gloves with his diving catches and over-the-wall grabs in center. Randolph’s job is safe Mets manager Willie Randolph will be back with the club next season, hanging onto his job after New York’s enormous collapse. General Manager Omar Minaya made the announcement, ending speculation that Randolph might be fired despite signing a contract extension before this season. “I do believe that Willie is going to continue to work hard,” Minaya said. “I do believe that Willie’s passion for winning is there.” New York went 5-12 down the stretch, squandering its big lead in the NL East and missing the playoffs entirely. The Mets became the first major league team that failed to finish in first place after owning a lead of seven games or more with 17 remaining. New York, which had that margin on Sept. 12, also matched the largest lead blown in September. “It’s been tough sleeping the last couple of nights,” Randolph said. “The way the season ended, obviously, is unacceptable. We had opportunities to get this thing done and as the manager of this ballclub I take full responsibility for that.” Pe a, Young earn awards Washington Nationals first baseman Dmitri Young and Tampa Bay Devil Rays first baseman Carlos Pe a were named Comeback Players of the Year in their respective leagues. “This puts the stamp on everything I’ve been through, and what I accomplished this year from an individual standpoint,” said Young, who was released by Detroit in 2006 while battling alcohol problems, going through a divorce and facing an assault charge. “And I shed some tears, I looked back, thought about my kids immediately, my parents, my brother and my sisters, all the friends who stuck with me when I was at my absolute lowest, and then the people I met along the way on my way back up.” Young, who made the Nationals’ roster as the starting first baseman when Nick Johnson was unable to play because of an injury, finished tied for eighth in the NL in batting with a career-high .320 average. He had 13 home runs and 74 RBIs. One season after being released by three teams, Pe a put together the best performance in Devil Rays history. The 28-year-old slugger batted a career-best .282 with a club-record 46 home runs and 121 RBIs after joining Tampa Bay in spring training as a non-roster invitee. “I knew in my heart it was going to be a great season … but I went beyond what I envisioned,” Pe a said. Last year, he homered once in 18 games for Boston and spent most of the season in triple-A with the Red Sox and New York Yankees. Will new schedule equal better ratings? It’s a simple formula: play postseason games when fans are most likely to be near a television. Major League Baseball hopes to accomplish that, among other goals, with the tweaks it made to this year’s playoff schedule. An increase in the number of off days avoids undesirable scenarios such as holding two games at the same time and weekday games that start before noon on the West Cost. “Why not put your great events on when the most people can watch it?” Commissioner Bud Selig said. “So that to me transcended everything else. We have, and I have that responsibility to make it as easy for people to watch as possible, not to make it as difficult. And so other sports do that and they have been smart about it. We haven’t always been as smart.” The changes alleviate concerns about giving teams adequate travel time and built-in cushions in case of weather-related postponements. They also increase the number of games played during the most desirable TV time slots. Fox and Turner Sports agreed to new contracts with MLB last year. The World Series begins midweek instead of over a weekend. That means one fewer Saturday night game – when viewers are less likely to be watching TV. With the division series more spread out, TBS, which is airing the playoffs for the first time, is better able to avoid midweek afternoon games. Unlike last year, no weekday contests will start at 10 a.m. on the West Coast. And never will two games begin at the same time. Around the leagues Tigers: Manager Jim Leyland got what he wanted when the team extended his contract by one year, keeping him in the dugout through the 2009 season. Leyland said last week he planned to meet with Tigers president Dave Dombrowski the day after the season and hoped to drive home to Pittsburgh knowing he had two years on his deal. Phillies: Despite Adam Eaton’s big contract, the team can’t afford to pitch him in the playoffs. Eaton was left off Philadelphia’s postseason roster for their first round-series against Colorado. The Phillies will use a four-man rotation, so Eaton didn’t make the cut. “It’s the best case for the team,” Eaton said. Signed to a $24.5 million, three-year free-agent deal last offseason, Eaton was a bust. He was 10-10 with a 6.29 ERA in 30 starts. Devil Rays: The team will replace bench coach Bill Evers after two years. The Devil Rays said they will not renew Evers’ contract for next season. He was the manager at triple-A Durham for eight years before joining Tampa Bay. No decision has been made on pitching coach Jim Hickey, arrested Monday on a DUI charge. Miscellany: Home runs in the major leagues this year dropped to their lowest level in more than a decade. An average of 2.04 homers per game were hit this season, the Elias Sports Bureau said, a drop of 8.1 percent from last year’s 2.22 average and the lowest figure in the majors since the 1995 average of 2.02.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! From news services The Atlanta Braves are cutting ties with Andruw Jones, saying they can’t afford to keep the perennial Gold Glove center fielder who’s spent his entire career with the organization. General Manager John Schuerholz announced the decision Tuesday, shortly after breaking the news to Jones at Turner Field. While hoping to stay in Atlanta, Jones wasn’t caught off-guard by the team’s stance. He made $13.5 million this season and was looking for a raise despite slumping badly. last_img read more