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Funding awarded for pipeline review

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Jan 16/06) - Eight groups in the Deh Cho are among the 35 recipients of more than $1.6 million designed to help communities participate in the public hearings held by the Joint Review Panel on the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline.

The panel will be travelling to most of the communities in the Deh Cho in the spring. The seven members of the panel are responsible for examining the social, cultural and environmental impacts of the proposed pipeline, said Annette Bourgeois-Bent, the communication manager for the Northern Gas Projects Secretariat.

With only months to go before the hearings, communities are already making preparations.

"It (the funding) will bring the community's issues and the harvester's issues to light," said Greg Nyuli, the executive director for the Deh Gah Got'ie Koe First Nation in Fort Providence. The band received $49,150, about half of what they had asked for.

The money will go towards a community co-ordinator, a pipeline working group at the local level and professional fees for outside consulting.

In Fort Simpson, Chief Keyna Norwegian is concerned the funding is not substantial enough to educate members of the Liidlii Kue First Nation so they can make informed decisions.