The recent letter from the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce, over the name of acting president Gordon Stamp-Vincent, criticizing Terrace City Council for taking a stand against the Northern Gateway project illustrates perfectly why this chamber has been so incredibly ineffective in attracting major investment in this community.
Mr. Stamp-Vincent’s claim that capital goes where it is “welcome and appreciated” is astounding in its childlike naiveté in regard to how capital actually works.
Major corporations do not make investment decisions about investing billions of dollars because local shopkeepers jump around like a bunch of ten year olds screaming “pick me, pick me.” There are a lot of complex factors that lead to investment decisions, but the attitudes of boosters like Stamp-Vincent isn’t one of them.
Nor is his position one of neutrality. Supporting a process that the Prime Minister has clearly said he will not necessarily honour regardless of outcome is not neutral, it is thinly disguised code for the same old crap that Terrace’s citizens are getting sick of – the attitude that any and all development is welcome regardless of risks to our way of life, to the environment or to the family values that draw people to Terrace in the first place.
Only the most naïve believe the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel process is neutral. It is convened, chaired and funded by a federal government who have been unequivocal in their support of this project, and by the oil and gas industry. The panel members have long associations with the energy industry, and a rejection of the project would be a career ender for them. They can hardly be considered impartial or neutral.
The message the chamber of commerce letter sends to the First Nations who are adamantly opposed to this project, is pretty clear – the Terrace business community neither respects or considers your opinion.
The more we learn about Enbridge’s funders, who Enbridge has kept secret for years, the more we see that this project is really a joint project with Sinopec, whose board is appointed by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. This is company responsible for propping up Robert Mugabe, the African butcher, this is the outfit who buys Iranian oil in defiance of sanctions, and the oil company owned by the people who have butchered hundreds of thousands of Tibetans. This is who Stephen Harper, Ezra Levant and Mr. “Pick Me” Stamp-Vincent want Terrace to support.
Mr. Stamp-Vincent would be well advised to reconsider his position. What actually drives business is customers. Numerous business people in Terrace report that they were not consulted in regard to his letter, and they are furious. If his letter truly represents the chamber’s position on this, then let them publish who supports this position and who does not, and let the citizens of Terrace vote with their wallets.
I suspect numerous businesses will oppose the project, even more will refrain from stating a position either way, which is entirely understandable, and a few will support the Gateway project. If he does not want to undertake this, then perhaps others will.
Bruce Hill, Terrace, BC