Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tsimshian and Ridley Terminals to sign Economic Opportunities Agreement

The words being used are groundbreaking and a model for future partnerships between First nations and the private sector, and we'll apparently learn all the details on it this Thursday.

A press release came out late on Tuesday night announcing that officials from Ridley Terminals and the Coast Tsimshian Nation will take part in a traditional ceremony on Thursday at 10 am at Chances Convention Centre, that to herald the delivery of a unique Opportunities agreement between the two.

The new agreement will provide for the First Nations in this community to have the
opportunity to build business capabilities and develop new skills. Few of the details of the arrangement have been released yet, no doubt as both groups wait until Thursday's ceremony to reveal the actual items of interest in that arrangement.

But it certainly is being trumpeted to the national media, in the press release the agreement to be announced to the gathering on Thursday will provide for the "potential to become a model for positive, proactive relationship development and new economic partnerships between First Nations and the private sector all across the country."

The agreement to be revealed on Thursday comes amid the growing controversy over the fate of the Terminal property in Prince Rupert and Chairman Dan Veniez's efforts to move it away from its current Crown Corporation model and towards a private enterprise option.
It's not the first time that the thesaurus has been pulled out by the PR people in regard to a meeting between the two groups, back in October of 2008 a similar agreement and signing ceremony was hailed as historic, when the two groups met once again at Chances to outline the details on that agreement, one that was to provide for employment opportunities for local members of the First Nation as well as scholoarship and sports funding.
It will be interesting to learn this week, how the deal to be revealed on Thursday fits into those previous plans and if it may have an impact on future conversations and decisions to take Ridley into private hands.

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