We have the good fortune of living in what I believe is one of the most pristine areas in Canada. Kootenay-Columbia has found a way to balance the environment with natural resource extraction. Aside from four National Parks and a number of protected areas such as Darkwoods and the Flathead Valley, we also have the 2nd largest coal mines in the world as well as a healthy forest sector, not to mention some of the largest hydroelectric dams in Canada. One of the largest natural gas pipelines in North America runs through this riding. Very few people talk about it and not a single incident since it has been there. All of this is done in the most environmentally friendly way so as to ensure we have a balance between the environment and economic growth.
The National Energy Board – an independent expert regulator – will ensure that Northern Gateway, and every other pipeline, is held to the highest safety standards. The last thing that anyone wants is an incident with a pipeline and certainly the ones that own the pipeline would be at the top of the list.
Whether it is pipelines, mining, forestry or hydroelectric, these products contribute to a stable economy which pays in part for the services that we as Canadians have come to enjoy. All of the services that we enjoy continue to increase in cost. The energy sector is a major player in not only the GDP but billions of dollars in taxes that pay for those services. I want to see a healthy energy sector that contributes to the overall success of Canada.
I believe that companies in the natural resource sector have proven that they are responsible stewards and will continue to be so in the future.
David Wilks is the Member of Parliament for Kootenay-Columbia. You can contact him at:
100 – B Cranbrook Street North, Cranbrook, British Columbia V1C 3P9
or via e-mail at email@example.com