Among them was Prince George – Peace River MP Bob Zimmer, who argues the summit itself is a big step in building relationships between First Nations, government, and the natural gas industry. 

“Just having that dialogue with Aboriginals about the issues and about the development just so we can understand each other and I think appreciate each other’s position.” 

Zimmer was most moved by the speech by Japanese ambassador Norihiro Okuda, who said he could empathize with the First Nations, as Japan also has a culture that goes back thousands of years, but also stressed his country’s need for LNG. Okuda argues that Japan’s energy production is almost at a standstill due to radiation issues and needs the imported energy. 

“To hear from that perspective that it’s more than just dollars and cents to other countries, it’s a need that they need filled for a sustainable source of alternative form of energy,” Zimmer says. “It’s a way of life and they want to see that sustained from a reliable source and a trusted democracy such as Canada.” 

Zimmer maintains that the federal government is gunning for LNG projects to proceed, as they’ll benefit all Canadians. 

The conference continues tomorrow with closed discussion sessions.