FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Peace River North MLA Dan Davies says that the first meeting in his MLA Energy Literacy Roundtable series was an overall success, which he hopes to build on in the series’ next event.
Davies said he was inspired to hold the Roundtable after speaking with B.C. residents and learning that they were either uninformed or misinformed about aspects of the energy-producing sector of the province.
“This was actually the very first conversation I had that I thought ‘Aha,’” said Davies. “I was sitting in a restaurant in downtown Vancouver, and two gentlemen were sitting right beside us talking about the Trans Mountain pipeline and how we don’t need any more pipelines going through B.C., we don’t need more pipelines going through Vancouver. We started talking about the thousands of kilometres of natural gas lines that run through Vancouver. There’s already the existing Trans Mountain pipeline in Vancouver. People don’t understand that they’re buying into a social media context of ‘no pipelines.’”
The roundtable saw a number of officials from all three levels of government attend including Mayor Lori Ackerman, Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier, and Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer. Others included officials from oil and gas companies, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, and Clean Energy BC.
Davies said that the group came to an agreement that the messaging of the energy industry does need to change, especially when it comes to finding out what its target audience is when it comes to promoting energy literacy, and how to reach them. The roundtable also agreed that involvement from other parties would benefit the discussion immensely.
Davies said that officials from the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources expressed interest in participating. At this point, there’s no date for the roundtables series’ next event, though Davies said that sometime in March would be likely.