A camp was set up on Lelu Island in August 2015 to protest industrial development in the area. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Port authority imposes ban on development around Lelu Island

Following Pacific Northwest LNG, there will be no future projects proposed near Flora Bank

There will be no industrial development in the marine area next to Lelu Island.

On Thursday, Jan. 17, the Prince Rupert Port Authority announced it’s placing a developmental moratorium on Flora, Agnew and Horsey Banks to ensure the protection of marine habitat.

Lelu Island and Flora Bank were the controversial locations of the Pacific Northwest LNG project, which was cancelled in July 2017. Many Indigenous people, environmentalists, and the local politicians opposed development on this site, which was near juvenile salmon habitat.

Although, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s assessment found the liquefied natural gas project could have been built without ‘significant adverse environmental affects’, leading the federal government to approve the project in September 2016.

In the port’s press release it states that the project was complex, involving a 3 km suspension bridge to avoid the environmentally sensitive areas. Three months after the project was cancelled, more than 100 people travelled to Lelu Island to witness a totem pole being raised. Members of the Gitwilgyoots Tribe claimed the territory as their own, and intended to protect the site from future development.

Since then, the port has recognized that development in this area will be a challenge, stating that “there are lingering concerns and uncertainty” with regards to how an industrial project would risk the health to the Skeena River estuary and salmon populations.

“We recognize the importance that a healthy salmon population has to our communities, in particular First Nations, and we share this value,” said Shaun Stevenson, president and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority, in the press release. “We know that this site has both challenges and concerns with development and there are superior development sites available for future projects at the Port of Prince Rupert that are broadly supported by our stakeholders.”

Hereditary and elected leaders from Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams were involved in the discussions to impose the developmental moratorium.

“The hereditary leaders of the Gitwilgyoots tribe of Lax Kw’alaams welcome the moratorium on industrial development on Flora, Horsey and Agnew Banks,” said Wii Smooygit Lyoon’anns (Carl Sampson Sr.). “The decision signifies a recognition of the concerns raised in regard to potential environmental impacts that port development could have in the area.”

Harold Leighton, chief councillor for the Metlakatla First Nation, said “This moratorium is a positive step toward ensuring the sustainability of this vital resource.”

The port authority said the moratorium will be formalized in its Land Use Management Plan in 2019, which will include public consultation.

To report a typo, email: editor@thenorthernview.com.


Shannon Lough | Editor
Shannon Lough 
Send Shannon email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Broken axle caused New Hazelton train derailment: TSB

It could happen again without a different way to inspect trains

Cullen remains uncertain about political future

Says he’ll make decision in early March

Terrace resident’s bill banning single-use plastics introduced in Ottawa

MP Nathan Cullen’s presented Ben Korving’s private member’s bill Wednesday

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Most Read