Members of a Northern B.C. First Nation voted overwhelmingly in favour of BC Hydro's Northwest Transmission Line project, which is expected to open up the region to increased resource development.
About 800 members of the Tahltan Nation voted 82 per cent in favour of the project over the weekend, ratifying a series of agreements with BC Hydro and the provincial government, including promises of consultations, revenue sharing, and environmental protection.
The Northwest Transmission Line will run about 350 kilometres north of Terrace alongside Highway 37, and should be completed by the end of 2013.
The line is expected to bolster mining and private hydroelectric power projects in northwestern B.C., reduce the use of diesel generators in the area and cut greenhouse gas emissions. It could also eventually connect Alaska with the North American transmission grid.
In 2009 Blair Lekstrom, who was then B.C.'s minister of energy, mines and petroleum resources, said the line was expected to cost about $404 million.
The funding for the project was expected to be split between the province, the federal government and private companies that would be using the power from the line.