FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce 2022 Creating Energy Conference officially commenced Wednesday morning.

The two-day conference began with opening remarks by the chamber’s executive director Cheryl Montgomery, chamber president Justin McKinnon, Mayor Lori Ackerman, and MLA Dan Davies.

Each speaker touched on topics facing the industry today, such as the shift in market demand due to the conflict in Ukraine, reconciliation with Indigenous communities, and energy security.

“Truth and reconciliation is not just the title of a report. It demands that we continue to bring truth to the light so we as Canadians and treaty people together can continue on the path of reconciliation,” Ackerman said.

“The world issues that we’re facing create a perfect storm: inflation and the aggression in Europe have made our life a little uneasy here in a resource community, but we’re doing what we can to keep the waters as calm as possible and provide certainty to the businesses and the industry,” She continued.

Davies spoke of his previous experience in the oil and gas industry and said that B.C. is an industry leader in resource extraction.

“The world is looking at B.C. now for our innovative ideas, our environmental standards, and how we build relationships with our communities around resources. We are leaders in resource extraction, and that is a story that needs to be told.”

The conference runs until Thursday and features keynote presentations from Brian Cox, president and CEO of the Canadian LNG Alliance, Fort Nelson First Nation Chief Sharleen Gale, and Tom Shypitka, Critic for the Official Opposition Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation with the B.C. Government.

It’s being held as a hybrid event with panels and speeches in a virtual format but an in-person dance and golf tournament.

Spencer Hall is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca and a recent graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Radio Arts & Entertainment program. Growing up in Northwest B.C. made Spencer aware of the importance of local journalism, independent media, and reconciliation. In his spare time, you can find Spencer reading, playing video games, or at the FSJ dog park with his dog, Teddy.