HALIFAX – Bear Head LNG announced Tuesday that it signed agreements with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs and the Nova Scotia Construction Labour Relations Association Limited and Cape Breton Unions that support its commitments to ensuring local benefits and meaningful Mi’kmaq participation from its planned LNG project.
Bear Head LNG signed a Mutual Benefits Agreement with the chiefs' assembly — a commitment by both parties to develop the project in an environmentally sustainable manner.
“This is a significant milestone for Bear Head LNG and the Benefits Agreement demonstrates our commitment to providing direct benefits to the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia and their communities. We look forward to the continuing participation of the Assembly throughout the development of our LNG facility,” said John Baguley, Chief Operating Officer for Bear Head LNG. “Our collective work on this project, and commitment to environmental sustainability, will position Bear Head LNG for success.”
"This agreement is an important step in ensuring that Mi’kmaq rights are recognized and protected and in building our relationship with Bear Head LNG," said Chief Terrance Paul, Co-Chair of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs. "The development of the Bear Head LNG facility will create important economic opportunities for our communities and for all Nova Scotians.”
Bear Head LNG also announced the signing of a Project Labour Agreement with the Nova Scotia Construction Labour Relations Association Limited and Cape Breton Unions. The Labour Agreement ensures a stable work environment for the development of Bear Head’s proposed liquefied natural gas facility on the Strait of Canso in Richmond County.
“Bear Head LNG is looking to invest a significant amount of money and resources into the LNG facility - a labour agreement creating a stable environment for the life of the project will help position the project for success,” said Baguley. “A stable labour environment is good for everyone, including the workers. We look forward to working with the building and construction trades to bring significant benefits to them and their families.”
The Labour Agreement governs the terms of employment for employees represented by the unions at the Bear Head LNG facility. Bear Head LNG and the unions will work together to support positive labour relations and conditions, including a diverse, safe, efficient and respectful work environment, according to the company’s media release. The Labour Agreement also gives priority to qualified residents of Cape Breton Island and mainland Nova Scotia.
“The Labour Agreement with Bear Head LNG will improve its competitiveness and is an important milestone in its effort to approve the project. Bear Head LNG will create jobs and opportunity for the local labour force for decades,” said Cape Breton Building and Construction Trades President Jack Wall. “Our members are excited about the Labour Agreement and the stability it offers them over the life of the project. This is a new milestone for us; it is the first time the Cape Breton Building and Construction Trades has entered into a project labour agreement.”
All required initial permits are now in place for Bear Head LNG to construct the LNG export facility. Canada's National Energy Board and the U.S. Department of Energy have granted export licenses for the facility. LNG produced at the facility will be transported by LNG vessels to overseas markets.
The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs is comprised of all 13 Mi’kmaq Chiefs in Nova Scotia and is the highest level of collective governance for the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia.