The debate over pipeline and tanker safety is currently happening in all corners of British Columbia and beyond. Our region is no different, with residents discussing the issue at the local coffee shop, over the water cooler at work, and around the kitchen table at dinner. It is important for me to hear your opinions.
In the coming weeks I will be sending out a newsletter to households throughout our riding highlighting our Government’s Responsible Resource Development plan as well as the important measures we are implementing to further improve pipeline and marine safety. Included in this newsletter is a section for residents to voice their comments and opinions on the issue of pipeline development and I am looking forward to hearing your views and opinions.
Few regions are as blessed with natural resources as Northeastern BC and this sector has been a key driving force for our local economy for decades. In fact, few jobs in the region are not directly affected by the development of these resources.
Perhaps this is why there are so many of us that are so fully engaged in this debate – the stakes for our region are high.
There is no question that the responsible development of our natural resources will create and sustain high-value jobs and economic growth for our region and generate billions of dollars in tax revenues nationally to help pay for important services like health care, education, and Old Age Security.
However, development will not proceed unless it can be done safely and responsibly. Our Conservative Government believes Canada is a world-class producer of natural resources, and that means we must have world-class safety and environmental protection.
The federal government has put in place strict rules and regulations governing the development and shipment of products like oil to safeguard public health and the environment. And we are determined to raise the bar even higher, based on sound science and world-class standards.
That is why our Conservative Government is implementing our plan for Responsible Resource Development. This plan will streamline reviews of major projects by ensuring more predictable and timely reviews, reducing duplication, strengthening environmental protection, and enhancing consultations with Aboriginal peoples.
Much has been said about natural resource development and as is the case with any controversial issue, those who oppose it are often the most vocal, while those who agree remain silent. This can skew a region’s perception of how its residents may feel about the issue.
As your federal representative, I cannot do my job properly without knowing the views of ALL of my constituents. That is why I am asking that all residents take the time to either fill out the form included in the newsletter or send me an email at Bob.Zimmer@parl.gc.ca.
Rest assured, my staff and I will be reviewing each and every one of these responses and all views will be carefully considered. I look forward to hearing from you.