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Five reasons why this week’s B.C. Natural Resources Forum is a big deal

It’s all going down at the Prince George Civic Centre
B.C. Premier John Horgan speaking at last year's forum (via Twitter/BCNRF)

The B.C. Natural Resources Forum kicks off this week at the Prince George Civic Centre.

This year is the 16th annual forum and it has grown to become the largest multi-sector Natural Resources Sector in Western Canada.

The forum starts on Tuesday, Jan .22  through to Jan. 24.

So why exactly is this event such a big deal? Well, stay with us as we break it down.

A lot of important people are coming

There’s a huge diversity of speakers, but the event will see leaders from First Nations, local governments, provincial and federal governments and industry. That includes Mayor Lyn Hall, Lheidli T’enneh Chief Dominic Frederick, MLA John Rustad, and a host of other members of parliament and CEOs. The attendees will be gathering for a jam packed three-day schedule of keynote speeches and workshops.

Important topics will be discussed

The 2019 program will focus on innovation and collaboration in the resources sector. Panels and keynote speakers will address may key issues facing B.C.’s natural resources including innovation and technology, unlocking potential with indigenous communities, innovation in mining, charting forestry’s future, the future of energy, and transformative influences in the resource sector.

Premier John Horgan will speak

Horgan attended last years’ BCNRF and is back again this year. He will be giving a speech at the Keynote Luncheon on Wednesday.  In a welcome message Horgan has said the BCNRF is a “fantastic conference allowing stakeholders, natural resource companies, community members, and all levels of government, be it provincial, federal, municipal, or Aboriginal, to gather and have constructive conversations in a non-partisan setting.”

So will the Federal Minister of Natural Resources

Amarjeet Sohi, who is the Federal minister of natural resources will also give a keynote address. Sohi’s known for overseeing the design and early implementation of the largest infrastructure investment plan in Canada’s history - more than $180 billion over 12 years. This plan invests in public transit, green infrastructure, clean water and waste water, affordable housing, trade-enabling infrastructure, rural and northern communities and more. He will provide the afternoon Keynote address on Wednesday.

It boosts the local economy

Attendance in 2018 reached over 900 delegates, making it one of the largest conferences in Northern BC each year. There was also about 70 trade show booths, and sold-out keynote events. That’s a lot of hotel rooms bought and morning coffee runs taking place in B.C.’s northern capital. Dan Jepsen, forum advistory committee chair says “The conference continues to attract a vast contingent of First Nations Leaders, federal, provincial and local government leaders, representatives from over 100 resource developers and service and supply sectors that are the foundation of our vital resource economy.”

To find out more about the BCNRF you can check out the website for the full schedule of events and speakers.