By Janet Holder,
Special to The Post
As British Columbians, we are standing on the doorstep of an enormous opportunity – one that can help ensure a prosperous economic future for our children and our grandchildren.
It’s the Northern Gateway Pipeline, a project that will create B.C. jobs and support economic activity well into the future.
Canada already exports tens of billions of dollars in oil each year. But without projects like the Northern Gateway, we are trapped selling to just one customer: the United States.
This means we must stand by as offshore customers are prepared to pay so much more for the exact same product.
The Northern Gateway Pipeline will open the door to crucial Asian markets, allowing Canadian exporters to bring home millions of dollars more each day then they do now.
That’s good for Canada and for Canadians.
But the Northern Gateway opportunity is more than just that.
As a proud British Columbian, I am passionate about what this project will mean for our province.
Building the pipeline will create three thousand new jobs here in B.C. And once the pipeline is complete, 560 people will have new permanent jobs to go to each and every day.
These are good jobs with good wages at a time when they are needed most. And because we are committed to making sure British Columbians – and especially those along the pipeline route – are first in line for these jobs, the people of our province have the most to gain.
The Northern Gateway pipeline will mean more British Columbians can pay their mortgages, provide for their families and spend money in their communities. It will create skilled jobs that are the backbone of our communities, and the promise of our future.
But the benefits don’t stop there.
These jobs, and this project, will also help support the services British Columbians value most, like healthcare and education. Over the next generation, the Northern Gateway Pipeline will help to generate $1.2 billion in revenue for the province – money that can help build schools and hospitals, and that otherwise would be lost. At a time when government is struggling to balance its budget, what could be more important?
Of course many have asked me about what this project will mean for a natural environment that makes British Columbia the envy of the world.
I believe those are good questions, and ones that need to be asked and answered.
It’s why Northern Gateway has made a fundamental commitment to build the safest, most environmentally-responsible oil pipeline ever constructed. This promise extends to every aspect of the project, from design and construction, to community engagement, to supporting world-class scientific research.
It’s also why, once the pipeline is built, we will monitor it around the clock – electronically, on the ground and in the air. We will use thicker steel than any other project of its kind. And our dual leak detection system will be second to none.
Because we believe a strong economy does not have to come at the expense of a pristine environment. We believe we can reach new markets without compromising what makes British Columbia great.
I am excited for the opportunity in front of us. And I am looking forward to continuing my travels throughout the province to listen to British Columbians, to address their concerns and answer more of their questions.
I passionately believe that the Northern Gateway Pipeline will help build better future for all British Columbians. If we get it right, we can protect our economy and our environment for future generations.
Janet Holder is a proud British Columbian and the senior executive responsible for the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project. Holder lives and works in Prince George.