Terrace mayor to tour oil sands site

Terrace, B.C. mayor Carol Leclerc will travel to Fort McMurray, Alberta this week

Terrace mayor Carol Leclerc is in Fort McMurray, Alberta this week to do a Canadian Association of Oil Producers (CAPP) tour of oil sands facilities.

The organization scheduled its oil sands tours to coincide with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities AGM in Edmonton happening June 5-8 and Leclerc will be the only member of Terrace  council attending.

“The purpose of the tour is to engage in conversations surrounding the oil sands, by visiting both a mining and in situ site, the two methods of extraction used in the oil sands,” said CAPP communications manager Chelsie Klassen.

“By gaining first-hand experience we hope to raise awareness surrounding the history, environmental performance, science and technology of the oil sands,” she said.

The last time the oil producers association tried to meet with Terrace council, the situation did not end well.

Association representatives had planned to meet with Terrace council here Sept. 16, 2014 but the session was cancelled because the association had wanted the meeting to be private. But that was contrary to the rules under which city council holds meetings.

At the time, CAPP sited concerns over anti-pipeline protests as one of the reasons for cancelling.

A small group of protesters did turn up at city hall and a public session planned that same night with CAPP and the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce was also canceled.

Leclerc said the trip for the CAPP tour in Fort McMurray might be an opportunity to mend any rift with the organization.

“I wasn’t on council when they came, but I think that having an open relationship is always a positive, and I am going there to understand,” said Leclerc.

“I am anxious to see what Fort McMurray is all about, though it is a down time in the oil industry, I expect to have a better understanding,” she continued. “It’s about having a better understanding of the oil industry.”