A Winlaw man praised for his work assisting First Nations in economic development is among 14 British Columbians to receive the province’s highest honour.
Thomas Sewell Byng Giraud was named to the Order of British Columbia on Monday. In an announcement, the provincial government credited Giraud with helping facilitate more than $1 billion in partnerships for First Nations.
Giraud, a former Selkirk College Student, is president of Vancouver-based Sedgwick Strategies that works on major resource and infrastructure projects. His accomplishments include securing provincial, federal and Squamish Nation approval for the Woodfibre LNG facility near Squamish that began construction this year.
The project was the first in Canada to implement an Indigenous-led environmental assessment without a treaty. The agreement names Squamish Nation as regulator of Woodfibre LNG’s facility, which will export liquefied natural gas when it opens in 2027.
Giraud is also honoured for similar deals with other nations including one with the Tahltan Nation, which successfully lobbied to bring electricity to remote communities. He also is an advisor to the First Nations Major Projects Coalition, which includes over 130 nations and has a project portfolio over over $20 billion.
This year’s class of recipients include actor Ryan Reynolds, Dr. Penny Ballem who led the provincial COVID-19 vaccination program, and conservationist George Reifel.
“This honour is a mark of excellence, reflected in the service and achievements of these incredible British Columbians,” said B.C. lieutenant governor Janet Austin in a statement.
“Their accomplishments have left an indelible mark on their communities, and ensuing legacies will impact our province to the benefit of future generations. It is my great pleasure to share my congratulations to all new appointments to the order.”
The appointees were chosen from 224 nominations and selected by an independent advisory council. Established in 1989, the Order of British Columbia now includes 503 residents.