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B.C. Resource Coalition hosts West Coast Olefins CEO Ken James on Facebook live Thursday

Would you like to ask Ken James of West Coast Olefins a question?

You have the opportunity, virtually of course, Thursday evening when the CEO of a proposed $5.6 billion petrochemical project for Prince George takes part in a Facebook live session, hosted by the British Columbia Resources Coalition.

“It’s pretty exciting stuff for the area to be able to ask him some questions, live on our Facebook page,” said Clint Chappell, a director with the recently-formed coalition and who will also be asking the questions.

The interview is part of the coalition’s aim to advocate for sustainable development of natural resources in British Columbia while preserving the environment. The coalition has its roots in Prince George but it broadening its reach throughout the North and across B.C.

“There was a group of contractors who came together here in Prince George over a project that was coming to town,” Chappell said. “We wanted to form a coalition to ensure that it was going to happen. But what we quickly realized that was in order to be heard by the province, we had to become a provincial group.”

And so the group, a Prince George group focused on provincial matters, was formed earlier this year. West Coast Olefins is one of the first projects the group is advocating for.

The Facebook live session on Thursday will focus a lot on the process and where the project is at, when it will start, and how much support it will need.

“A lot of people don’t fully understand what the project is all about,” he said. “It will be good to get the answers from Ken James … This is a very big deal for Prince George. It will mean economic diversification for Prince George and the province.”

The Facebook live is, obviously, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Chappell hopes that sometime down the road the coalition will host actual live events.

While not quite face-to-face, it will be live and viewers will be able to submit questions to be asked.

“You can ask anything of Ken,” Chappell said. “He is not afraid to answer a question. He’s very excited about it as well.”

One of the principles of the coalition is that B.C. resources should create B.C. jobs. Chappell said they are trying to get that message to politicians.

“We want to see some of the legislation changed so we can see these resources stay in B.C. and B.C. can reap the benefits of them,” he said.

West Coast Olefins definitely fits the mandate of the coalition as the company is proposing to extract condensate from Enbridge’s natural gas pipelines going through the area. That condensate is a raw material for a proposed ethylene plant and polyethylene facility at the BCR site that would produce a polyethylene product that be shipped to Asian markets.

Should the plant not be built here, the condensate will likely be extracted near Taylor and shipped to Alberta for processing.

“B.C. has a history of outsourcing a lot of this stuff,” he said. “We believe we can keep a lot of those jobs in B.C.”

The Facebook live session goes at 7:15 p.m. on May 7 at  https://www.facebook.com/thebcrc.ca

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