"We know you value the hundreds of thousands of jobs that depend on B.C.'s natural beauty and livability. The Trans Mountain pipeline is too risky to be built here."
VANCOUVER, April 19, 2018 /CNW/ - More than 450 businesses employing thousands of Canadians today sent an open letter to B.C. Premier John Horgan, asking the Province to stand strong in its opposition to Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain pipeline, pointing out that the beleaguered pipeline project is bad for business.
Signatories include tech founders, tourism operators, investors, restaurateurs and small business owners of all stripes.
"Saying 'no' to the Trans Mountain pipeline not only protects the hundreds of thousands of jobs in British Columbia that depend on a clean, protected environment, saying 'no' is a crucial signal to companies, industries and investors that we want to build the future in areas like clean energy and technology," says Tim Bray, tech entrepreneur and founder of OpenText, Canada's largest software company. "Saying 'no' to Kinder Morgan is saying 'yes' to British Columbia's real future."
Business leaders write in the letter that the technology, tourism, construction, film and television industries each create more jobs than oil, gas, and mining combined. They also make up the fastest-growing sectors of B.C.'s economy. The signatories add that the Vancouver brand was valued at $31 billion, according to a 2015 study done for the City of Vancouver, and this brand has helped to attract much-needed talent and investment to the province.
"One Kinder Morgan tanker spill and what happens to our supernatural coast, the salmon, the bears, the whales, to the reasons millions of people come to B.C. from around the world every year?" asks tourism operator and former Olympic athlete Rob Safrata, Director of West Coast Sightseeing Ltd.
A healthy marine environment is a benefit to many B.C. industries, with several depending on it. Studies show that a single major oil spill could cost the provincial economy $1.2 billion and devastate our coastal industries for decades. In contrast, the Trans Mountain pipeline project will add only 50 permanent jobs in BC, and contribute a maximum of one percent to municipal tax revenues. "The risk is simply too great for such a small economic benefit," says Sonia Strobel, Managing Director of Skipper Otto's Community Supported Fishery.
The signatories write that they stand in solidarity with the Coast Salish First Nations and other Indigenous communities that are opposed to the pipeline and envision a future for Canada that moves away from a dependence on fossil fuels.
Michelle Nahanee, a member of the Squamish Nation, Creative Director of Nahanee Creative Inc., and a signatory to the letter says; "Countless business leaders have worked tirelessly to build a thriving and diverse economy that is now directly threatened by this unnecessary project. First Nations must be participants in a future of shared prosperity; we've been excluded for far too long."
The letter concludes by stating that the inevitable transition to a clean economy has already begun, and that Kinder Morgan's project is out of step with the future prosperity of Canada.
The full text of the letter, and a list of early signatories can be read online here.
SOURCE Business Leaders of BC
For further information: Media Contact: Allison Murray, Communications Consultant, T 604-442-1846, E [email protected]