May 17, 2016
We understand our membership is alarmed by today’s information bulletin on the BC Government News website. So are we. We want to stress to the Heiltsuk people that our Nation has not approved or consented to any LNG projects, or negotiated IBAs with any LNG proponents. The information bulletin from the BC Government severely mischaracterizes the nature of our regional conversation with BC around LNG. At a joint governance meeting with Heiltsuk Tribal Council and the Heiltsuk Hemas Council in March 2016 we collectively decided to proceed with a Letter of Understanding on Environmental Quality, North Coast Skills and Training, and the conclusion of the Atmospheric Benefit Sharing Agreement. None of these constitute support for LNG. This followed the community feedback we’d received about seeking training dollars and fighting for a voice at the table on marine shipping safety.
Nowhere in that agreement do we gesture support for LNG. Nor would we do so without a clear mandate from the people. We intend to make our objection known to the BC Government, and Coastal First Nations are preparing a clarifying statement as well.
Recently, HTC began transitioning from Telus phone lines to a voice over IP (VOIP) phone system. While our main number (957-2381) has been ported over to the new VOIP provider, most of our other lines have not yet been released by Telus to our new provider. As a result, you may at times be met by a busy signal when calling our office, or experience issues with calls being forwarded to our new lines from the old Telus lines. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
We anticipate that it will take approximately one more week until all lines have successfully changed hands to our new phone provider, and we expect that current issues will persist until that time. Once all lines have been taken over by our new provider, we believe that there will be no further issues with inbound calls.
This is truly a case of short term pain for long term gain. Presently, our office estimates that this change in telephone providers will translate to a cost savings to HTC of $70,000 per year. We greatly appreciate your continued patience and understanding on this matter, and will provide another update once we’ve been notified that all phone lines have been ported.