News Column

B.C.'s Chambers Pass Policy Supporting Pipelines

May 28, 2014



VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 28 -- British Columbia Chamber of Commerce issued the following news release:

B.C.'s Chambers of Commerce have passed a policy calling on the provincial government to continue supporting pipeline projects, where they have met environmental review assessment conditions.

"B.C.'s commodities, including oil and gas, already support tens of thousands of jobs in B.C.," said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. "We have an unprecedented opportunity to grow even more jobs in this sector through the development of new oil pipeline capacity."

The policy highlights the critical need for B.C. pipeline infrastructure, both for B.C.'s economy and the Canadian economy. It specifically highlights what's at stake with the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, which promises to boost B.C. GDP by at least $8.5 billion over its development plus the first 20 years of operation.

"Right now, Canada is losing up to $50 million a day due to inadequate pipeline infrastructure which is hindering our access to key markets such as the Asia Pacific," Winter said. "In B.C., projects such as the Trans Mountain expansion promise huge gains for our economy. That's why we're asking government to keep supporting the responsible development of our pipeline industry."

The policy, The Importance to the Economy of Expanded Oil Pipeline Infrastructure, calls on the provincial government to:

* continue to support a responsible framework for resource development, including a world-class marine tanker safety regime with enhanced marine spill response capability, and a world-class terrestrial safety system;

* provide greater clarity and specificity on B.C.'s provincial interest, commonly known as the "five conditions" in order to provide certainty, predictability and stability that encourage capital investment; and

* engage Chambers and other organizations in project pipeline construction communities to maximize opportunities for local businesses during construction and operation of all major projects, including increased opportunities for First Nations participation.

"There's a lot of fear mongering about pipelines in B.C. but we need to remember that pipelines are nothing new to our province, and in fact sustain many of our day-to-day activities," Winter said. "Every day, we rely on our extensive pipeline network to heat and light our homes and businesses, and to power our transportation system."

The BC Chamber of Commerce has long supported pipeline projects in B.C., provided that they meet environmental review assessment conditions. Last year, B.C.'s Chambers passed Supporting Canada's Responsible Resource Development (2013), which highlights the economic benefits of the Northern Gateway pipeline project.

Chamber and business delegates from around B.C. passed this policy at the BC Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting & Conference, the province's foremost business gathering, held this year in Richmond May 23-24. This unique grassroots policy-building forum brought together approximately 200 Chamber delegates from across B.C. to vote on new business/economic policies.

This year, delegates voted in 39 policies; adopted policies now become part of the BC Chamber's advocacy agenda.

This year, delegates voted in 39 policies; adopted policies now become part of the BC Chamber's advocacy agenda.

Policies passed at the AGM are available here (http://bcchamber.org/advocacy/files/2014%20Proposed%20Resolutions%20Manual.pdf) and here (http://bcchamber.org/advocacy/files/2014%20Proposed%20Late%20Resolution%20Package.pdf) (late resolutions). These have been updated to reflect amendments made at the AGM. Please note that these are still in draft form and will undergo minor editorial changes/clean up before the BC Chamber publishes final versions

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