Former BC Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson To Discuss Leveraging Ownership In Pipleines

Former BC Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson will participate in a panel discussion on Leveraging Ownership on Friday as part of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s ninth annual Indigenous Opportunities Forum.

Gottfriedson, the BC Director for Project Reconciliation, will make the case that selling a majority stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline to Indigenous communities is the right thing to do.

“Majority Indigenous ownership of the pipeline would put words about reconciliation into action. And it would ensure strong environmental protections for the land and water, and a share in the economic benefits generated by Canadian energy,” he said.

The federal government is expected to make a decision about the pipeline on Tuesday.

Project Reconciliation

Project Reconciliation is a non-partisan, First Nations-led initiative that has invited Indigenous communities in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan to buy a majority stake (51 per cent) in the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project (TMX).

The project is headed up by Delbert Wapass, Executive Chair & Founder and former Chief of Thunderchild First Nation in Saskatchewan; Shane Gottfriedson Regional Director, B.C., and former Chief of Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc First Nation; Dr. Michelle Corfield, Regional Director, B.C.; and Wallace Fox, Regional Director, Alberta, and former Chief of the Onion Lake Cree Nation; and is supported by a team of industry and business professionals that includes Stephen Mason, Managing Director & Founder of Project Reconciliation; and Pat Whelan, Managing Director & Founder, both who provide extensive experience and expertise in finance, business management and governance.

There is a pipeline to reconciliation. Here’s why we should take it:

With a majority stake in TMX, participating Indigenous community partners would have direct input into how land, water, animals and fish are protected. They would have a seat at the table regarding how TMX is operated and constructed, and the authority to ensure that these activities meet high standards for environmental and marine protection and safety.

Participating Indigenous community partners would receive long-term revenue that could be used to achieve economic independence. The revenue would come both from earnings from the initial TMX investment, and from earnings from re-investments made under a Sovereign Wealth Reconciliation Fund.

The Sovereign Wealth Reconciliation Fund could facilitate a bridge to future technologies. It would be re-invested into infrastructure-based assets that could include environmentally sustainable initiatives.

Participating Indigenous community partners would not require upfront cash to invest. Project Reconciliation’s financing plan would involve buying a 51-per cent interest in the existing pipeline, and obtaining funding for 51 per cent of the cost to construct the expansion project. Upon completion of the expansion project, Project Reconciliation’s entire purchase and financing costs (i.e., 51 per cent of the cost of buying the original pipeline and 51 per cent of the cost of financing the construction of the expanded pipeline) would be refinanced through a syndicated, 20-year bond issue totalling approximately $7.6 billion. No part of the financing would require public funding.

Project Reconciliation


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