Economic development is top of mind for Skeena MLA
Economic development in the Terrace area is a priority for Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. In a presentation to city council, Ross was advocating for growing industrial activity, including Top Speed Energy, a liquefied natural gas project proposed for the industrial lands south of the Terrace-Kitimat Airport, which would be powered by electricity and would take natural gas from an already-existing gasline.
"Well, of course, employment, it's a boost in the economy. It helps with the tax base, reducing emissions coming from diesel-generated electricity, for example. The more we put projects into the PNG line, the better chance that we have to reduce our gas rate bill for domestic users. We are some of the highest-paid repairs in BC, just because of carrier charges."
Terrace Mayor Carol Leclerc says she also sees many positive aspects to these small LNG facilities, especially for remote communities.
"There is an opportunity for our remote communities north of us like Iskut or Dease Lake or the Nass has that opportunity to get off diesel and have a cleaner fuel to have in their homes, in their business there."
Ross stresses that Top Speed isn't the only project he is advocating for, but he is looking towards the spin-off opportunities smaller projects can bring to the Northwest.
"I'm talking about a new economy once this COVID virus restrictions start to ease up. We have investors and mind you, for the last six months, I have watched investors walk away from rural BC. In this case here for Top Speed, as well as the old project in McLeod Lake, we have investors wanting to come in. They are trying to navigate through the bureaucratic process. They seem to have the majority of support here, especially when they talk about manufacturing, especially when they talk about the smaller projects having just as many benefits as a larger project."
Ross plans to table these options in the BC legislature to bring more focus on what could be increased employment, reduced utility cost and cleaner air opportunities.