Residents from Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, Prince Rupert and Kitimat plan to hit the road to Ottawa Sunday, May 22, to deliver a stack of petitions to federal lawmakers and appeal for the creation of a liquefied natural gas industry in Canada.
The Fort St. John for LNG group is spearheading the "LNG or Bust" road trip alongside its Northern B.C. counterparts. After attracting national media attention for its 600-truck rally in March followed by a visit by Premier Christy Clark at a rally in April, group founder Alan Yu said it's time to meet federal officials on their own turf.
"There's nothing we can do here anymore … it's preaching to the choir. We need to bring the unemployed people, the workers, to Ottawa," Yu said, noting several business associations and local politicians have already made the trip to Ottawa to share their voices.
"It's about time the federal decision makers hear the voice of the unemployed here in Fort St. John and northern B.C."
Yu said the bus plans to stop in and build support and speak with local media in resource towns along the way. The group plans to stop first in Edmonton, with other stops planned for either Saskatoon or Calgary, White City near Regina, and Winnipeg. They hope to arrive in Ottawa on June 1.
"We would like to share our experiences here in Fort St. John and listen to theirs," Yu said.
Taking part in the trip so far are Kristi Leer, Monica Joan Mcmillan and Jeff Rodrigues from Fort Nelson; Yu and Chris Lafratta from Fort St. John; and Judy Fraser from Prince Rupert. Participants from Kitimat are still being lined up.
The group has budgeted $20,000 for its trip, and is fundraising to help cover costs.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the group had raised $8,350 through a GoFundMe online campaign.
"It's important so we can proceed with this trip," Yu said.
The Alaska Highway News will be carrying a road diary from the group as they embark on their trip.