Background: Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation (VAFFC) is a not-for-profit company owned by a consortium of commercial airlines representing most of the domestic and international carriers serving Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery Project is required because the existing delivery system is unsustainable. The project includes upgrades to an existing marine terminal and development of a fuel receiving facility on industrial zoned land on the north bank of the South Arm of the Fraser River. It will include a 15-km underground pipeline to YVR. The estimated cost of the project is $70-million to $100-million.
Cornerstone was contracted by VAFFC to consult with 12 First Nations and has been the project’s First Nations Consultation Advisor since 2007.
Our Method: Cornerstone was responsible for initiating contact with 12 First Nations, developing a First Nations consultation plan, generating understandings regarding the consultation process, negotiating First Nation capacity agreements and participation in the environmental assessment, and coordinating proponent liaison with the provincial and federal governments on Aboriginal issues. Cornerstone was involved in all aspects of negotiating understandings with First Nations as the project proceeded through the B.C. and federal environmental assessment processes.
The Results: Understandings were reached with 11 of 12 First Nations who have traditional lands within the area and use of the Fraser River. We established credibility and developed strong social capital with the First Nations and created a network of positive relationships with many key influencers in the First Nation communities.
These relationships we developed allowed us to connect with First Nations key influencers in a non-confrontational and productive manner, as well as provided an opportunity to meet quickly and effectively. With our participation and access to key influencers, we are able to facilitate efficient communication and understandings between VAFFC and First Nations.