VANCOUVER, April 2, 2014 /CNW/ - CRED BC, a collection of over 90 BC-based businesses, along with several other local business leaders, have been denied intervenor status in hearings on Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Today's announcement by the National Energy Board (NEB) left CRED's members with questions about the hearing process, particularly the level of consideration given to economic concerns.
"Such a large infrastructure development project will have direct & lasting impacts on many local businesses. The risk of an oil spill in Burrard Inlet or the surrounding Salish Sea is a real concern, particularly for small businesses. While a few business voices have been accepted as intervenors, I'm concerned to see so many rejected. The tourism, film, real estate and tech sectors in particular will be impacted by any damage to the west coast's liveability and our Beautiful BC brand," commented CRED Executive Director Liz McDowell.
"The businesses that have been rejected as intervenors generate local employment, contribute to the economy and would be directly affected by the proposed pipeline. In some cases, they have property adjacent to the proposed tanker traffic."
While CRED was accepted as a commentor, this merely indicates the ability to submit a letter to the NEB detailing support or lack thereof for the proposal. In previous hearing processes, permission was not required to submit a letter to a government agency. As a result, CRED does not consider this to be meaningful participation.
Excerpts from rejected businesses' applications:
"I own and operate an organic food manufacturing business in the Gulf Islands. This pipeline proposal will, if it proceeds, bring increased risk of significant marine oil spills, both at port and from tankers. This will negatively affect our brand - and subsequently, our sales - which depend in part on the perceived and actual wild and viable environment of the Georgia Strait region, which is a significant part of our marketing strategy." – Daniel Terry, owner of Denman Island Chocolate
"I am a local business owner/ entrepreneur working in the clean energy sector. As a Co-Director of the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association, I represent the interests of a burgeoning sector that already employs dozens of people across the province. The brand of "Beautiful BC" and Vancouver as the "Greenest City" is essential to my ability to attract and retain qualified staff, promote business opportunities and to attract clients and partnerships. As I consult with foreign businesses that are looking for reputable, innovative Canadian cleantech companies, a spill would have dire consequences to our reputation." – JM Toriel, Big Green Island transportation
"For the past 15 years, I've been working at the cross-section of TV, film and ICT in Vancouver. My Gastown-based business would be impacted by a pipeline or tanker spill, particularly in Burrard Inlet as my office is less than 100m from the water and the tankers passing through. My ability to attract new talent depends on the reputation and liveability of Vancouver, so my future business growth would be impacted by the proposal - My film-making often relies on the backdrop of Burrard Inlet, and any significant spill or increase in tanker traffic would impact this." – Bradley Shende, M2O Digital Agency
"Both of my restaurants are dependent on tourism for their success. I am concerned as a business owner whose business could be harmed by any spills or accidents or malfunctions," - Vij's and Rangoli owner Meeru Dhalwala
More information: www.credbc.ca
- The majority of employment in BC comes from the service sector. 80% of British Columbians work in trade, public administration, financial services, real estate, technology, health and other services. Small businesses make up 98% of all business licenses held in the province.
- Studies have shown that an oil spill along the Washington coast could adversely effect 165,000 jobs. A UBC risk analysis of the Northern Gateway proposal found that a spill along BC's north coast could cost up to 43% of all jobs in marine tourism, fishing and other coastal industries
Conversations for Responsible Economic Development is a collection of professionals and business leaders from the tourism, real estate, tech, health, creative and other service-based sectors who are committed to participating in informed dialogue about long-term prosperity on Canada's west coast. Its mission is to protect the regional economy from threats to long-term development, promote industries that build on BC's creativity, innovation and natural beauty, and foster conversations about the types of energy and resource development and transportation that are compatible with this vision. CRED advisors include restauranteur Meeru Dhalwala, tech entrepreneur Bradley Shende, screenwriter Tarah Stafford, North Shore realtor Dallas LaPorta and UBC economist Dr. Rashid Sumaila.
SOURCE: Conversations for Responsible Economic Development
For further information: Liz McDowell, 604-219-6337 or email@example.com