A Canadian Press story released this afternoon reports that legal roadblocks to the proposed $7-billion Mackenzie natural gas pipeline “could be close to resolution,” attributing the information to statements made by Ethel Blondin-Andrew, minister of state for northern development.
Blondin-Andrew said she is optimistic lawsuits filed against the gas project by the Deh Cho First Nations will be resolved soon.
“I am looking forward to results,” she said.
Blondin-Andrew said recent negotiations to reach an out-of-court settlement on the lawsuits, in Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Yellowknife have been both frequent and productive.
“I’ve been at almost every single meeting that has been undertaken with the federal government on this issue and it has not has been as positive as these last meetings we have had. I'm far more optimistic than I was even before Christmas,” she said in the Canadian Press story.
A non-disclosure agreement prevented Blondin-Andrew from explaining her optimism, but the report said she “hinted that as the pipeline process rolled forward, Deh Cho negotiators were becoming more eager to reach permanent deals on resource revenue sharing.”
She was quoted as saying, “Certain things, over the passage of time, become greater at risk. Certain agreements come to the end of their term.”
Editor’s note: See the full story in the Jan. 23 edition of Petroleum News.