If you’re talking about the economy in the Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies, you’re talking about resources.
Forestry, mining, and oil and gas are mainstays of the economy in the area. Candidates in the riding were asked their views on the challenges facing the resource sector.
“The thing that plagues the north is getting resources to market,” said Liberal candidate Mavis Erickson at last week’s all candidates forum.
And while dealing with climate change seemingly goes contrary to resource development, Erickson said the Liberal plan deals with that.
“For example, the TransMountain pipeline, where they would use the money from that project to transition to a green economy, so there would be a lot going on, with regard to resource development, in the north creating a balance with resource development and climate change.”
She said, if elected, she would hold roundtable meetings, with experts, to have community planning on the issue.
Conservative candidate Bob Zimmer agreed that the resource sector is extremely important in the riding.
“It’s what we do in the north,” he said. “Now there’s other sectors that are developing here. We have tech sectors that are starting to spring up. But we still need natural resource development to occur in Canada. What’s key to us is to do is responsibly.”
He said Canada has some of the highest standards when it comes to resource development.
“We’ve seen the current government talk about being pro resource development,” he said. “I was hopeful that Kinder Morgan would have gotten done on its own.”
He said the natural resource sector is over-regulated and that hurts the industry.
“Then the sign goes up on the door, globally, that we’re closed for business,” he said. “We want to put the sign back that we’re open again.”
He added a Conservative government would work to secure a softwood lumber of agreement.
People’s Party of Canada candidate Ron Vaillant said they also want to help the resource sector grow … free from international pressure to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals.
“We’re not the ones that are buying in to the U.S. Paris Accord,” he said. “All these other parties are hampered by having to reduce CO2 emissions to 2005 levels by 30 per cent.”
He said the party would scrap Bill C-48, the oil tanker ban on B.C.’s north coast, and Bill C-69.
“We’re going to use the Constitution to declare pipelines as being in the national interest,” he said.