Premier visits Fort St. John to promote LNG

Photo by Montana Cumming

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Christy Clark, the Premier of British Columbia, made an appearance at a pro-LNG rally today, and had the crowd cheering for LNG projects by the end of her speech.

In a crowded Centennial Park, she told residents that B.C. ‘was not built by people who say no.’

Clark said Ottawa cares about climate change, and she wants them to ‘let us help,’ calling natural gas the cleanest fossil fuel on the planet.

“This is not just about the northeast. The people you see behind me, many of whom are having trouble finding work, are going to benefit from it,” she said.

“The wealth that’s extracted from the ground underneath us is going to pay for health care in every province of this country. It’s going to pay for building roads and airports, it’s going to pay for building schools. We will be sharing it with Canada, but we need the chance to do that.”

Clark says B.C. is one of the least connected provinces in a number of ways, but has always wanted to help.

“Canada needs us, but they need to say yes to Pacific NorthWest, and they need to say yes to all of the other LNG projects that may be awaiting approval from the Federal government.”

Clark also made a statement about the area’s recent wildfires, thanking emergency services who helped fight fires or help with evacuated residents.

“This has been a really devastating couple of days for a lot of people,” she said. “In the crowd today I bet you most of them have been, in one way or another, supporting people who have been displaced or evacuated.”

She said the early start to the fire season is alarming, and in light of that, the approval of LNG projects could help fight climate change.

This was all preceded by crowds of LNG proponents taking up the sidewalk on 100 Street, greeted by honking trucks.

Donna and Wade Kirkpatrick, who own Waydago Vacuum Service ltd., told Energeticcity.ca they think Premier Clark is trying her best to get the rest of the country on board with LNG projects and brought to Western Canada.

“If we don’t get this pipeline to the coast, there ain’t going to be no future in this province for anybody,” Wade said. “We need this. We need jobs to feed our kids, it affects the whole economy up here.”

Donna said the federal government needs to realize that the oil and gas industry is ‘the backbone of our country.’

“B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan are the main provinces (for it) and Trudeau needs to realize that and we need to get those landlocked provinces’s oil and gas to the coast,” she said.

While many cheered at her statements, Site C opponents made their presence known at the pro-LNG rally.

Site C protesters sent their own message to B.C. Premier Christy Clark. Photo by Montana Cumming
Site C protesters sent their own message to B.C. Premier Christy Clark. Photo by Montana Cumming

“We’re not here in opposition of LNG, which is what we’re getting here. We’re here in opposition of Site C only,” said Shelly Ouellette.

She, along with other protesters, brought their issues with the project on signs, including food security, the environment and Indigenous rights. “It shouldn’t be built”, she added.

Here is a video from the rally.  The rally starts at the 10 minute mark.