Trans Mountain and the Simpcw First Nation signed a Mutual Benefits Agreement (MBA) yesterday in recognition of their continued partnership and desire to create meaningful employment and business opportunities for the Simpcw people.

“This agreement is based on trust, respect and collaboration, and will create meaningful employment and lasting benefits for the Simpcw People,” said Ian Anderson, President of Kinder Morgan Canada. “The Trans Mountain Expansion Project team is building long-term relationships with Aboriginal communities along the proposed pipeline corridor to not only create new opportunities and shared prosperity, but to ensure that the project design and planning incorporates appropriate measures to protect Aboriginal interests in the lands and waters. I want to thank and congratulate Chief Matthew, Simpcw First Nation Councillors and community members for their hard work and dedication in reaching this important agreement.”

Anderson added this agreement builds on the strong partnership that was formed in 2007 when the Band signed a benefit agreement with Trans Mountain regarding the first expansion phase, referred to as the Anchor Loop Project.

“Today marks a new relationship between Simpcw and Trans Mountain,” said Nathan Matthew, Chief of the Simpcw First Nation. “The agreement represents a real partnership – we will play an active role in all aspects of the Project within our Territory, from environmental stewardship to benefiting economically.”

“We are thankful for Simpcw First Nation’s support for our Project. We are committed to responsible development opportunities within their traditional territory and finding ways to create new economic and community initiatives,” Anderson said. “We look forward to working with the Nation as our Project proceeds through the review process, and if approved, when construction on our Project begins.”

“The agreement ensures our values will be respected and our Nation will benefit from the use of our Title Lands,” said Chief Matthew. “Key components to providing our consent to Trans Mountain for this Project was ensuring the Community takes a leadership role in conducting the environmental work within our Territory, and that the Membership benefits in a real way – whether it be from jobs, community infrastructure, or contracting opportunities – it was important to Council to negotiate a deal where the benefits can reach every Community Member.”

Simpcw MBA signing 05/11/16 - Indigenous, benefits

MBAs are confidential agreements that define a mutually beneficial long-term relationship between an individual Aboriginal group and Kinder Morgan Canada. They can include agreements on education and training related to pipeline construction and related job skills, enhancement of community lands, services or infrastructure, business opportunities and other benefits.

The agreement went to a Community Referendum on March 13, 2016, the results of which indicated overwhelming support. The agreement will provide Simpcw with milestone and annual payments, and contains significant commitments around environmental protection, employment and training, and business opportunities. The agreement also contemplates an emergency response strategy including associated training, equipment and infrastructure. Simpcw is currently working with the Province to ensure that the strategy aligns with provincial standards and will be equipped to deal with emergencies throughout the Territory beyond those of the Project.

Trans Mountain is committed to creating opportunities that increase the capability for Aboriginal peoples to participate in the economy and to share in the success of the Project. Through the implementation of employment, training and procurement initiatives, Trans Mountain will support qualified Aboriginal and regional businesses in obtaining Project-related contracts and employment. The establishment of partnerships and shared goals will result in long-term benefits for both Trans Mountain and Canada’s fast-growing Aboriginal population.

To date, Trans Mountain has entered into many support agreements with Aboriginal groups located along the Project corridor in Alberta and British Columbia, including marine communities, who have provided written letters of support for the Project. Furthermore, Trans Mountain has entered into more than 100 additional agreements, including Letters/Memorandums of Understanding, capacity funding and integrated cultural assessments.

About Simpcw First Nation

The Simpcw First Nation is a 720-member community located in the Thompson River Valley. The Simpcw are part of the Secwepemc, or Shuswap, Nation, and their lands covered an area of roughly 5,000,000 hectares: from Vinsulla to the head waters of the Fraser River at McBride; to Jasper in the East and South to the head waters of the Athabasca River. For more information, please visit www.simpcw.com.