Cullen: port agreements with First Nations “the way we do business”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MARCH 14, 2011

PRINCE RUPERT

Agreements announced today between First Nations and Ottawa to expand the Port of Prince Rupert reflect the beliefs and practices of the Northwest regarding economic development, said MP Nathan Cullen.

“Recognizing the need to work side by side with local people and respecting First Nations is the way we do business in the North,” Cullen said.

“We’ve been saying and supporting this for years and we’re seeing more of it on the ground.  This model of respect and co-operation delivers real results and leads to real investments.

“Today’s announcements are a welcome sign that Ottawa also recognizes strong relations and shared goals with First Nations are the foundation of a flourishing Northwest economy.”

In separate events in Prince Rupert and Terrace earlier today, the federal government announced agreements regarding the port’s Fairview Container Terminal with the Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla bands of Prince Rupert and the Kitselas and Kitsumkalum First Nations near Terrace.  The agreements provide economic development funding to help build lasting business opportunities and employment training to prepare First Nations for challenging, well paying jobs.

Cullen also noted the ongoing success of the Northwest in attracting federal money.

This strong track record, he said, is a direct result of the hard work, energy and enthusiasm of Northwest communities to build a sustainable and diversified economy. Joint ventures with First Nations, he noted, are a solid investment in a shared future.

Cullen said he will continue working with communities and First Nations to bring even more federal investment to the Northwest, including the long-promised $137 million for the Northwest Transmission Line.