Upstream Update Forum a ‘resounding success’

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Delegates at the Northeast BC Resource Municipalities Coalition say the Upstream Update Forum on November 25th at the Pomeroy Hotel was ‘a resounding success by every measure.’

Over 100 delegates from industry, business, government, First Nations and communities attended.

The morning keynote address was delivered by Dr. Charles Jago, former President of UNBC and current Chair of the Northern Health Authority. Jago spoke of how northeastern BC communities have the potential to see their future go two drastically different ways, and this future can be controlled by actions taken now.

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The afternoon keynote address was by Global BC’s former Asian bureau chief Jas Johal, who is now the Director of Communications for BC LNG Alliance. His speech highlighted that worldwide demand for natural gas will continue for decades as we slowly transition to wind and solar and slowly diminish dependence on fossil fuels such as coal.

Garry Oker of Doig River First Nations said in his welcoming remarks, “Our ancestors spoke of coming together to hear our voices so that each voice in our community can be heard and that any benefit, anything we do is for the people — that is what this is about how are we able to improve the quality of life for everyone?”

“Our 1st Upstream Update Forum exceeded our expectations for attendance and participation by people from every community in the Northeast,” said Executive Director of NEBC Resource Municipalities Coalition Colin Griffith. “It is obvious that the Province and industry place a high value on being attentive to the challenges and issues faced by the communities and citizens in Northeastern BC.”

Mayors Lori Ackerman of Fort St. John, Rob Fraser of the District of Taylor, and Bill Streeper of the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality were all present to speak at panels at the forum.

Stewart Muir, the Executive Director of Resource Works wrote in his recent newsletter,

“Thanks to the North East BC Resource Municipalities Coalition for giving me and Resource Works a platform on Tuesday to address the NEBC Upstream Update Forum in Fort St. John (via Skype).

I was privileged to also be a speaker at their debut event just over one year ago. Since that time, their comprehensive study of the region’s economy has brought new understanding of what needs to be done to ensure that the benefits of the resource economy are shared equally and widely.”

Photos are available on the website for the Coalition.

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