Rally supports families in natural resources

By Matt Fetinko
January 23, 2019 - 4:04pm Updated: January 23, 2019 - 6:15pm

PRINCE GEORGE — It all comes down to people.

That was the message of a natural resource rally held outside the Prince George Civic Centre Wednesday in support of families making a living in the sector. This was taking place while the BC Natural Resources Forum was continuing inside the Civic Centre.

Hope is building in the natural resource community with projects like the Coastal GasLink LNG Pipeline potentially bringing forward new opportunities to grow the industry in our region of the province.

"A lot of people this side of the Rockies don't know about oil and gas. They don't realize how important it is to Alberta, how important it is to the northeast corner of British Columbia," said Ian Fife, a natural resource worker and admin for Fort Nelson for LNG who attended the rally. "The LNG Canada project is very important to Fort St. John and Fort Nelson to get our gas exported. The United States is becoming energy independent so we're running out of places to ship it."

That pipeline, in particular, has not gone without controversy though.

Support for the Wet'suwet'en blockade has stretched across the country as the First Nation fought, and continues to fight, against the pipeline. That support showed again during the rally.

"This LNG Pipeline is not happening. The hereditary chiefs have not given consent, they're against it, they have previous court cases that support what they're saying about their authority over their territories," explained Robert Budde, a UNBC professor supporting the Wet'suwet'en with a sign at the rally. "It seems like events like this are just completely ignoring that."

There was a police presence at the rally in the event they were needed but no situation forced them to get involved.

According to one organizer, Premier John Horgan, who spoke Wednesday at the Natural Resources Forum, was asked to speak at the rally but did not.

Earlier Wednesday morning, a convoy with up to 100 trucks drove from Boundary Road towards the Civic Centre. It dispersed after the Victoria St. and Patricia Blvd. intersection.

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