I recently had the honour of once again attending the BC Natural Resources Forum in Prince George and joining MLA Shirley Bond and Mayor Lyn Hall in welcoming attendees to our region.
A personal highlight for me this year was standing in support of our dedicated natural resource workers at a rally organized by The North Matters’ David Johnston and Ian Fife, and hearing from community leaders like Trudy Klassen, as well as Hereditary and Elected Chiefs about this important sector and the positive impact these projects have on our communities.
Hereditary Chief Helen Michelle of Skin Tyee Nation, Wet’suwet’en, spoke of her support for the Coastal GasLink pipeline and LNG Canada, saying, “I’ve got families and members that are waiting to go to work who are on a standstill right now. They’ve had all their training, got all their tickets and some of them have small children. They need a job.”
I was also pleased to see so many of our region’s provincial and municipal leaders at the forum, including MLAs Shirley Bond, Dan Davies, Mike Bernier, and Mike Morris and I want to thank my colleague, Cathy McLeod, Shadow Minister for Natural Resources (Forestry and Mining), for attending and showing her support for our resource sector as well.
It’s unfortunate that the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources, couldn’t be bothered to attend the forum and that, while he did attend, Premier John Horgan seems oblivious to the fact that our forest and oil and gas communities are struggling.
The continued success of the BC Natural Resources Forum showcases the important role this sector plays in our national, regional, and local economy. It is also an important reminder of the strong support the industry has throughout British Columbia, despite the unnecessary hurdles that are being put in place by both the BC NDP government and the federal Liberal government.
I know many of you depend on the continued responsible development of our natural resources to put food on the table for your families. It is our families that I think about every day and why I will continue to champion for this vital industry and the important jobs these projects bring to our region.
Bob Zimmer is the Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies.