ICBA is part of a coalition of B.C. groups coming together to support LNG in B.C.

VANCOUVERJan. 23, 2019 /CNW/ – LNG development in B.C. is the key to a bright future for our province. It offers economic and social benefits to First Nations, increased government revenues to pay for health care, education and other services and thousands of well-paying jobs for British Columbians.

That’s why a coalition of workers, First Nations, students, educators, businesses and others are launching a campaign to demonstrate to the public and elected representatives that there’s a broad base of support for LNG projects amongst the citizens of B.C.

The Together For LNG Campaign will (T4LNG Campaign) will give a voice to the tens of thousands of British Columbians who know that LNG enjoys unprecedented levels of support from First Nations, businesses, rural communities and others who want B.C. to continue to lead Canada in developing LNG, thanks to recent decisions to advance projects like LNG Canada towards completion.

“Blueberry River First Nation is a small community that plays a big role in LNG,” says Judy Desjarlais, President of Topnotch Oilfield Contracting and a member of the Blueberry River First Nation in northeast B.C.

“All the communities in this area have signed off on it. A lot of us own businesses and a lot of us are benefiting from the work that’s happening in our backyard.”

B.C. has the opportunity to help the world transition to a greener future, create prosperity at home and greatly reduce our global carbon footprint moving forward. Squandering that opportunity means lost jobs, lost revenues to get us to green and yielding the field to other, less scrupulous producers.

“By unlocking our world class energy asset, B.C.’s liquid natural gas (LNG) industry will play an important role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by helping many Asian countries transition off coal,” said Chris Gardner, President of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association. “The strategic development of a strong LNG sector will also provide tens of thousands of jobs in construction, maintenance, and operations for people in B.C. and across Canada, and important revenue contributions to all levels of government.  LNG is the perfect opportunity for industry and government to work together to achieve great outcomes for Canada.”

Paul de Jong, President of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada, adds: “The liquid natural gas (LNG) that Canada has in such large supply is a key factor in world wide demand for clean energy. “Strategic development of a strong LNG sector also provides for tens of thousands of construction, maintenance and operations jobs for Canadians, and provides robust contributions to provincial and national GDP. LNG in Canada is the perfect venue for industry and government to work together to achieve great outcomes,” de Jong says.

The T4LNG Campaign will provide a positive, hopeful counter-narrative to the opponents of LNG development, who rely on a network of internationally financed organizations to use selective data and half-truths to divide British Columbians on this crucial issue.

Ramona McDonald, President of Complete Safety Services in Fort St. John says LNG jobs will make a huge difference in the lives of First Nations peoples. “Probably 50 per cent of my employees are of aboriginal descent. When they can go out and buy Christmas presents for their children because they’ve had a job and were able to make money, that brings me joy,” says McDonald. “We shouldn’t be in poverty, we shouldn’t see people suffering in this country, because we have what it takes to get everybody working again.”

Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead framed the LNG conversation in terms of higher values. “Communities are built around quality of life, ‘health and happiness,” he said. “Health, education and economic opportunities are the pillars. We are a province built on resource development. It is the foundation for these pillars. We all need to support responsible resource development.”

T4LNG believes that by working together, the public can let our elected leaders know there’s a broad base of support for LNG development. The campaign will build a community of interest to change the narrative around LNG. And unlike the opponents, they don’t need to shout. Their quiet, collective voices speaking their truths will drown out the negative noise that threatens to derail a greener future through LNG development.