Residents of the North Coast who were unable to attend the liquefied natural gas export forum on Oct. 22 should do themselves a favour and check it out online (just go to youtube.com and search “LNG Forum Prince Rupert”).
It was a great collection of panelists from a wide range of backgrounds and interests coming together to discuss an importance of the utmost importance to the North Coast. With Prince Rupert Port Authority president and CEO Don Krusel, BG Group community relations advisor (and former mayor Herb Pond) as industry representatives, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, oceanographer Dr. Barb Faggetter and Bruce Watkinson of the Gitxaala Nation coming together, nobody can argue that the voice of one stakeholder group was ignored.
The biggest thing to take away from the forum was simply this — people with different perspectives can sit down and have a mature, professional discussion about something they disagree about. There is no need for placards or megaphones or sensationalized protests.
In fact, as was the case at this particular panel, you may just find that people of different backgrounds and viewpoints agree on a lot more than people may think.
The fact that Jennifer Rice — the NDP MLA who never missed an environmental rally in her past life with the T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation — quoted Herb Pond of the BG Group, a company planning to construct a massive LNG terminal on Ridley Island — in her closing statement shows that there may be more similarities than there are differences among the people of the North Coast.
Whether you agree with LNG or not, this forum was a perfect example of what should be happening — mature adults discussing their differences in a respectful way.
Leave the sensationalism and fear- mongering at home.