Today, the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) added its voice to Screenshot 2016-03-02 10.21.20supporters of the $5.4 billion Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP). ICBA President Philip Hochstein told a National Energy Board panel hearing final arguments from intervenors that the project reflects his members’ commitment to safe and environmentally responsible development.

“We see the Trans Mountain Expansion Project as an exceptional opportunity to balance economic, social and environmental interests in a project that creates long-term prosperity for all Canadians,” says Hochstein. “The application goes into great detail to explain how the company and its construction partners, strengthened by the NEB’s conditions for going ahead with the project, will meet Canada’s high standards for responsible resource development.”

TMEP will keep thousands of workers employed during a two-year peak construction phase — a long project by the standards of the construction labour force. For young workers in particular, this is a stable platform for trade apprenticeship, employment and skill development. In the long term, this Project would contribute close to $50 billion to governments and 802,000 person years of employment over the course of 20 years.

“This is a priority for ICBA members as well”, added Hochstein. “The green economy has been creating business opportunities for our companies and our workers for many years. As I look back over the last decade, work in sectors such as renewable energy, energy efficient retrofits of existing buildings and construction of green infrastructure has been a primary driver of business for our members.”

Recently the ICBA launched a petition on its website, urging British Columbians to make the provincial government aware that there is widespread public support for the project. As of January 22, 2016, more than 2,500 people have signed the pledge in support. The ICBA also launched a #gettoyes campaign which includes this new ad .

The overwhelming majority of BC residents, 84 per cent, support responsible resource development. An ICBA poll last year determined there is exceptionally strong support for responsible resource development, that support for these projects crosses political boundaries, and that opponents, while vocal, represent only 16 per cent of Canadians.

“A modern, federally regulated oil pipeline expansion project aligns with Canada’s short and long term economic and social interests. The Trans Mountain Expansion Project would, as stated in its Facilities Application to the National Energy Board, and as successive federal governments have indicated, increase the value that Canadians receive from this vital resource product,” concluded Hochstein.