With a resource boom on the horizon for northern B.C., Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen wants to make sure all approved projects are done right.
The NDP representative released a summary report Thursday after spending the winter and early spring touring his riding as well as Prince George to hear from concerned citizens and industry about the future of economic growth in the region.
The four-page report, Renewal Northwest 2013, offers suggestions for five different resource sectors with an emphasis on ensuring individual projects have a social license from their surrounding communities and First Nations groups.
"What kinds of risks are we willing to take, and what kinds of benefits do we expect?" Cullen wrote in the introduction. "Together we firmly set out that no project should move forward without the blessing of the local community."
In general, Cullen said the people he consulted at meetings in nine communities from Prince George to Prince Rupert want to make sure new resource development projects will have long-term benefits for the surrounding communities rather than the traditional boom and bust cycles. The report also touches on environmental concerns, accountability and infrastructure needs.
For forestry that means providing more value-added production and for mining he suggests having adequate skills training in place so local people can benefit from jobs.
The report also includes positive suggestions for energy production (a stronger wood pellet sector) and fishing (more protection for wild stocks to ensure sustainability), but has few good things to say about more new pipeline projects. It cites the risk of spills combined with the lack of value-added exports as reasons why new pipelines could be problematic.
"The pipeline industry was the most contentious and ill-thought of industry in our discussions," Cullen wrote.