Northwest LNG supporters must speak up

Dear Editor,

As a small business owner in Terrace I believe we must take a stand and publicly support LNG development in Northwest B.C. All we seem to hear are the voices of those who object to the development of an LNG industry or any other resource development for that matter. Just to remind people, Kitimat is an industrial town and exists because of past and present industry. They lived with a pulp and paper mill for decades and happily took home healthy pay cheques from the many jobs created by this industry. When it shut down (due to actions not related to the economy), had it not been for the support that people gave to the Rio Tinto modernization (which amounts to one of the very important stars that had to line up in order for the rebuild to move forward) Kitimat would be a ghost town. Had we, the silent majority, not voiced our support, the noisey few would have been able to selfishly destroy our economy without a care for the people it hurt. Our communities need to be vocal and rally for this essential economic driver to proceed immediately. Our MLA, Ellis Ross, nailed it at the recent BC Natural Resource Conference in Prince George when he voiced the fact that there’s a very well organized campaign of misinformation out there eager to do the bidding of their backers and oppose our economic success for their own gain with total disregard for how that effects families in the region. People should not be so willing to blindly support this Feel Good Campaign.

We need to become the squeaky wheel that gets noticed by people that matter to our economic future. We need to let the federal and provincial governments know that it’s not okay to continue to put stumbling blocks in the way of this industry. The long-term benefits far outweigh the short sighted and politically motivated actions they are engaging in at the moment. Make your voice heard! Contact any politician that you have access to and tell them how critical this opportunity is to us and the Canadian economy in general. Let the shareholders of the companies willing to invest in the largest construction project in recent history know that we support their efforts and we appreciate investment into our future as well as theirs.

Small business makes up the majority of the economy of BC and Canada in general.

They also weave together the very fabric of our society. Small businesses to a large degree wouldn’t be able to survive without the investment of larger industry, especially resource based when it comes to Canada.

I came here in 1981 to help build what was then called Ocelot Oil Methanol which became Methanex. That project provided hundreds of good jobs for many years and supported many small businesses like mine, that have since become successful. These businesses and the people working within them contribute to a welcoming and successful community, one of which I am very proud of.

The federal government invested in Alcan Aluminum in the post-war depression, welcoming their will to invest here and subsequently developing the community we know today.

We also need to embrace this opportunity being offered to us in the present day without hesitation or someone else will.

We can’t afford to let this opportunity slip between our fingers. We need to see this for what it is and not let people pull the wool over our eyes.

It’s obvious we need to move toward safe renewable energy sources but it won’t happen over night just because we want it to. The delivery of natural gas to Asian markets will do more to curb the emission of harmful pollution than any other single effort in real time. Canadian industry adheres to very stringent environmental standards and procedures. We should be very proud of that as well as the fact that it treats its workforce very well in terms of safety and compensation.

Let’s be part of the solution and speak up for the future of our community.

Please get out there and do your part, show your support, and make your voice heard.

Gord Shaben Owner, Silvertip Promotions & Signs

Terrace, BC

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