FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Local grassroots organization FSJ for LNG held its second rally supporting B.C.’s resource extraction industries in just over a month this past Saturday.
Around 50 vehicles, half the number that showed up to the organization’s rally on April 21st, lined up near the UFA cardlock on the city’s south side before travelling by convoy once again to Charlie Lake. A crowd of around 50 attendees then parked at the Charlie Lake boat launch for the second half of the rally, which featured several guest speakers take to the stage, which was supplied by Surerus Pipeline.
Peace River North MLA Dan Davies served as the MC of the rally, which has held at roughly the same time as other pro-resource rallies in Terrace, Kitimat, Smithers, and Langley. FSJ for LNG founder Alan Yu kicked things off by impressing the importance of the rally, especially given the short time remaining before Kinder Morgan’s self imposed deadline of whether or not it will proceed with its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion after halting all non-essential work last month.
Sean Surerus, who company is one of two Fort St. John-based companies involved in building Trans Mountain through joint ventures, also spoke about the positive aspects of the resource industry in Canada and especially their commitment to safety.
“Our shortcuts hurt us in our sector,” said Surerus. “Every moment that we’re in the media for the wrong reasons: a challenge with a pipeline, an incident in safety, a wreck of some sort. Those are ammunition for those who do not support what we do. Every one of us, we’re representing our sector, and it only takes a moment for something to happen. And in our business, a shortcut hurts us and it hurts our sector.”
The rally’s keynote speaker was ResourceEd’s Steven Simons, who prior to working with ResourceED worked for the Oil and Gas Commission for a number of years. Simons spoke about many of the same things that Vivian Krause spoke about at last month’s rally, including the trend of environmental groups conducting coordinated attacks on one specific resource industry at a time in a methodical way. Simons also hosted a seminar at NLC on that topic on Saturday night.