Public perception of the industry discussed at the Oil and Gas Conference

It’s a topic that directed the speeches of some presenters at this week’s Oil and Gas conference here in Fort St. John: Public perception.

Speaking at the conference Wednesday, PSAC’s director of Health and Safety, Patrick Delaney, says the organization was suprised at the results of a study which suggested that ninety percent of the public has a “very poor view” of the oil and gas industry.

That’s why PSAC announced its Public Perception Program earlier this year. The program aims to increase communication with the public to allow the industry to keep its “social license” to operate.

Pouce Coupe Mayor Barb Smith, who also spoke at the conference Wednesday, urged contractors to develop their own programs to enforce a standard of courtesy towards residents who live near developments or who share roads with the oil and gas industry.

Smith’s co-presenter, Encana’s Patricia Etris, delivered a presentation on the company’s “Courtesy Matters” program, a program which Mayor Smith hopes companies can use as a guide when preparing their own programs for positive public interaction.