VANCOUVER SUN – Opinion: Too much is at stake to reject LNG out of hand

VANCOUVER SUN: Opinion: Too much is at stake to reject LNG out of hand

BY ELLIS ROSS, SPECIAL TO THE VANCOUVER SUN

When I was first elected to Haisla Nation Council, I was generally opposed to industry. It didn’t take long before I was confronted with the harsh reality of what our communities have been facing — poverty, suicides, and the hopelessness. Government handouts from Ottawa were not helping our people. There had to be a better way, and we had to help ourselves.

We had to find a way to dig ourselves out of grinding poverty.

A gas company came knocking at our door in 2004 with an opportunity that we saw as something new that just might make a difference to the families in my community. We could get our people off welfare and into good-paying jobs. It was a risk, and I was as big a skeptic as there was, but I also knew it was something we had a duty to consider.

We have studied the LNG industry and its proposals for the last 10 years. We have seen that natural gas is the cleanest of all fossil fuels, and that it can improve the global environment by offsetting dirtier fuels in Asia — after breathing the air in Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo, I can appreciate the desire of those countries for cleaner energy.

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