Northern BC and all of Canada can reap the rewards of Liquified Natural Gas if the Federal Liberals approve pipelines, liquefaction plants and port terminals to get Canadian made LNG offshore to Asian Markets where demand is high and growing.
But Canada has to act fast because our competitors in the LNG market place, namely the United States and Australia, are moving faster to access export markets than Canada is. Canada, thanks to the Federal Liberals, is slowing down the approval process, adding more regulation and more hurdles to climb over for LNG projects. An opportunity to create 100,000 Canadian jobs in a gas boom could pass us by as the Liberals kick the LNG ball down the regulatory road.
In the Northern BC town of Fort St John, where natural gas is the biggest and best game in town, they have had enough of hearing “No to LNG”. They have started a movement to represent the forces of yes. Yes to LNG. Yes to jobs. Yes to a future in the North. I decided to use my friend, fossil fuels, and drive all the way up to beautiful Fort St John to see one of the rallies being organized in support of LNG projects for myself. I love a good rally and Fort St John has an oil derrick in the middle of town, so I knew I’d feel right at home.
The rally itself started with everyone lining up along the street, holding signs in support of LNG. By the time everyone lined up, there were people saying “Yes to LNG” for nearly three city blocks and these weren't all fracking crews and pipeliners. They were families, the young and the old, just people who want their community to survive, and maybe thrive into the future while helping Canada through a very tough economic downturn.
Local and provincial government representatives were there in Centennial Park to stand together with the people of Fort St John. Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman, City Councillor Dan Davies, Peace River BC Liberal MLA Pat Pimm joined Premier Christy Clark as she took to the stage, actually a truck trailer deck, to ask the Trudeau Liberals to quit making excuses and approve delayed LNG projects.
Alan Yu, the founder of the the local pro-LNG movement, “FSJ for LNG” told me of the human cost of delays in LNG approvals. He said that people are moving out of town and that crime and domestic violence are increasing as unemployment surges. Yu is a new resident of Fort St John. He moved there last year to find work in natural gas and that goal never materialized for him. He was recently laid off and he’s taking this time to make a difference, build a movement and fight for what he thinks will be the future of BC in LNG.
LNG is clean burning and plentiful and the world wants it. The world should be getting it from Canada. Canada needs the jobs and economic activity that each of these projects will create. Fort St John and the residents of Northern BC are tired of hearing no. They're tired of hearing the federal government say they need to wait longer for answers. They're tired of more and more red tape being added to projects that needed to be built yesterday. The voices of the forces of yes, the forces of economic growth, employment and for prosperity for the future are so much louder than the forces of no.
I saw that for myself, first hand, in Fort St John.