Energy Citizens Speak Out on Market Access

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We profile two energy citizens: Jennifer Barkved from B.C. on why she supports LNG, and Kane Lam from Ontario on why he supports pipelines.

WHY I SUPPORT LNG

Jennifer Barkved quoteENERGY CITIZEN: Jennifer Barkved

COMPANY: Gearheads Truck Repair 

RESIDENCE: Fort Nelson, B.C.

OCCUPATION: Business

Jennifer Barkved knows first-hand what can happen when a sector goes south…literally. In her early working years, she lived in Midway, a small town on the border between British Columbia and Washington. The region was hit hard in the early 2000s by the Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute—thousands of jobs were lost and entire communities were impacted.

Now, Barkved lives with her husband in Fort Nelson, B.C., where they run Gearheads Truck Repair—a commercial truck and trailer repair operation. They’ve done well by the local oil and natural gas industry, though the current downturn means business has slowed. She supports an LNG industry that would restore growth to the region.

“LNG would create jobs and support the economy, not just here in Fort Nelson, but right across Canada,” Barkved says. “From income taxes to gas company royalties, everyone will get a share of the revenues through investments in infrastructure, medical facilities and schools.”

Until recently, Barkved didn’t realize there was a stigma attached to the industry. The light came on one evening as she was enjoying a meal with her extended family. “The subject of pipelines and natural gas came up and I couldn’t understand how they had become so misinformed about the sector,” Barkved says. “Industry has been fracking responsibly and supporting the local economy here for over 50 years. I want people to come to Fort Nelson to get a first-hand look at the way we do things rather than believing everything they read or hear in the news.”

Since then, she’s joined forces with like-minded residents to form the Fort Nelson for LNG organization which has held rallies and brought in speakers. Barkved also participated in Rally with Resources, which sent a cross-Canada convoy to Ottawa in support of LNG. The group also sent 100,000 letters to local MP Bob Zimmer asking for approval of the Pacific NorthWest project.

“I like to think that in some way our group helped sway the recent government decision in favour of an LNG pipeline,” says Barkved.—KB

WHY I SUPPORT PIPELINES

Kane Lam with QuoteENERGY CITIZEN: Kane Lam

COMPANY: Tapp Studios, Inc.

RESIDENCE: Richmond Hill, Ontario

OCCUPATION: Digital Strategist

Kane Lam knows the value of innovation when it comes to building a better future. He saw his father build a successful poultry packing business from the ground up after arriving in Canada from Hong Kong.

Following in his father’s entrepreneurial footsteps, Lam has launched a number of business enterprises including a technology startup in Richmond Hill, Ontario. He and his partners are working to develop innovative mobile app technologies for Canadian businesses.

He supports pipelines because he knows that the energy sector helps drive the kind of global innovation needed to keep Canada at the cutting edge.

Citing the stringent regulations and intense public scrutiny that Canada’s oil and natural gas producers face, Lam notes: “Our energy sector has had to adapt and innovate to continually reduce their impact on the environment. Pipelines will accelerate that innovation by bringing in more money for research and development. That will lead to technologies which could ultimately have applications that reach far beyond Canada and the energy sector.”

 Adds Lam, “When the energy sector does well, Canada does well, which means opportunities for all of our citizens in all sectors, all regions, and all backgrounds.”

Six years ago, when Lam was a student at the University of Toronto, he constantly heard from well-intentioned friends about the evils of the energy sector. “However, I did some independent research and discovered that our energy sector is, in fact, top-class in the world,” states Lam.

Since then, Lam has made standing up for the energy sector part of his daily life. “I consider it a duty to speak up for the industry wherever I am—at school, around the dinner table with family and friends, at work and on social media,” says Lam.—KB

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