BUSINESS IN VANCOUVER – Building consensus key to First Nations partnerships

By Peter Mitham
June 14, 2016, 9 a.m.

Business thrives on certainties – the fewer the risks associated with an investment, the greater the comfort felt by both investors and the people receiving the investment.

That’s especially true when social goods are in play, as proponents of natural resource projects across B.C. are finding out. Many opponents believe First Nations hold the trump card, given the obligation to consult before projects proceed.

Yet as the tiny Malahat Nation on southern Vancouver Island is demonstrating, an obligation to consult simply makes good business sense. It may take time, but it also builds the consensus that will ensure a broad distribution of benefits from a given project.

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