It was one of the largest expressions of grassroots concern and opinion that we’ve seen recently in B.C. Thousands of residents in Fort Nelson, Fort St. John and Terrace held “Northern Jobs for Northern Families” rallies.
They were driven by deep concern with the impact of the resource downturn on their communities, businesses and families and by a deep conviction that the development of an LNG export industry in B.C. is a decisive turnaround opportunity.I can’t think of any better evidence that LNG projects have the coveted stamp of “social licence.” And it extends across the northern region that will be most directly involved in the industry’s development — from the gas-producing areas in the northeast to the coastal northwest where the export facilities will be located.
So it would have been hugely welcome if these rallies had been followed, as expected, by a federal decision on environmental approval of one the largest and most promising LNG proposals. Instead, on the weekend prior to the anticipated decision, federal regulators “paused the legislated timeline” in the review of the Pacific Northwest LNG project near Prince Rupert.