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Pipeline group heads to Ottawa

Seeks financial backing to take arctic gas south

Thorunn Howatt
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Oct 03/01) - Nellie Cournoyea and Mackenzie Valley pipeline backers are headed to Ottawa this week looking for federal money to back their project.

NNSL photo
Nellie Cournoyea

"Members from the Aboriginal Pipeline Group have been trying to organize a meeting with members of Parliament to discuss the pipeline group and find out where they are coming from and how they can help us with moving forward on this," said pipeline group spokesperson Wilf Blonde.

The Aboriginal Pipeline Group is proposing to build a pipeline to carry Arctic gas from the Mackenzie Delta southward to Alberta.

The informal meeting with the federal Energy Reference Committee will include Aboriginal Pipeline Group members Fred Carmichael, of the Gwich'in Tribal Council, executive committee member Doug Cardinal, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation's Cournoyea as well as Blonde.

High hopes

"We hope to exchange information and talk about how the APG might be financed," said Blonde.

"One of the things the APG does not have is a lot of money."

The Aboriginal Pipeline Group is two-thirds commercial energy producing companies and one-third aboriginal Mackenzie Valley region landowners.

The producers group has already committed its portion of pipeline financing of about $2 billion.

"It's not a problem, it's a challenge. It's an opportunity for the government to show it can meet its obligation to the aboriginal people," said Blonde.

The Energy Reference Committee is a federal cabinet committee that includes Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Minister Robert Nault.