Green was also acclaimed as a director representing the northeast for the B.C. Chamber of Commerce earlier this week. 

Voting on policy resolutions begins today, and Fort St. John is putting forth three this year. This first is a “natural gas first” policy, that encourages the B.C. Government to consider natural gas projects first, like generating electricity using natural gas, as opposed to other means. 

The second proposes integrating driver training into high schools, which already has the support of School District 60 and the Teachers Association. Beerling explains that the graduated licensing program means a lengthy time period for young people to get their driver’s licence. 

“With the need for drivers in the marketplace, industry needs people to have their licence a lot sooner, so if they put it in the school system, and start training ICBC programs in the school system as a part of our curriculum… the young person will have an opportunity to get their driver’s licence restrictions removed six months earlier.” 

The course would be worth school credits, and reduce the amount of time it takes to get a driver’s licence. 

The third recommendation being put forth is community benefits policy, that aims to have natural resource projects leave a legacy behind, and not just compensation. Using the example of Site C, Beerling says that could mean leaving infrastructure behind that can be used by the community in the future. 

“People, communities and governments that support major projects are faced with significant challenges related to each new or expanded project,” he argues. “Communities are required to provide accommodation, healthcare, staging and service support, recreation and social services, retail, hospitality services, as well as emergency services, policing and infrastructure.” 

The local Chamber is recommending the provincial government work with communities and stakeholders to adopt a community benefit policy for those types of projects to leave communities better off instead of compensated. 

Voting continues today and tomorrow.