Northern Politicians in Ottawa Lobbying for LNG Development
Ottawa, ON – Six politicians from northeast B.C. have made the trek to Ottawa this week.
They’re there promoting B.C.’s Liquefied Natural Gas industry and are being hosted by Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies Conservative MP Bob Zimmer.
Dawson Creek City Councillor Charlie Parslow says they’ve already met with various ministers and MPs and says LNG development is critical to the economies of the region.
“Well, looking at statistics I’d suggest that a few years back we (Dawson Creek) had an unemployment rate of about 4% and now we’re approaching 10% unemployment. Our townhouses were fully occupied and now we have a vacancy rate of about 30-40%.”
He’s hoping the federal government decides to go ahead with the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG development near Prince Rupert though the assessment period was recently extended by 90 days.
“I understand the need for a thorough review, but we’re just saying once you’ve had that review, make a decision. Don’t delay, make a decision after you’ve done the review.”
The District of Tumbler Ridge could also use the boost LNG would provide.
“It’s really important because we’ve had two coal mines shut down and another is on hold,” says Mayor Don McPherson. “So people got laid off from there so a lot of those people found work in the oil patch and lately that’s gone the other way. So it’s concerning when that happens too often you know?”
Does he think the trip will pay off? “I think they appreciated us coming up because they’re getting the views of the local communities. A lot of people are hurting in the Peace country right now.”
Joining Parslow and McPherson on the trip are Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman, Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Mayor Bill Streeper, District of Taylor Mayor Rob Fraser and Colin Griffith with the NEBC Resource Municipalities Coalition.