Letter to BC Premier says 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 BC's economy.
More than 450 businesses employing thousands of Canadians have sent an open letter to BC Premier John Horgan asking his government to stand strong in its opposition to Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain pipeline, saying the beleaguered pipeline project is bad for business.
Signatories include tech founders, tourism operators, investors, restaurateurs and small business owners.
"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," said 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 BC's economy.
"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 BC from around the world every year?" asks tourism operator and former Olympic athlete Rob Safrata, Director of West Coast Sightseeing.
Opponents point to studies showing that a single major oil spill could cost the provincial economy $1.2 billion and devastate coastal industries for decades.
Meanwhile, the Trans Mountain pipeline project will add only 50 permanent jobs in BC, and contribute a maximum of one percent to municipal tax revenues, opponents claim. "The risk is simply too great for such a small economic benefit," Sonia Strobel, Managing Director of Skipper Otto's Community Supported Fishery, told news service CNW.
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.
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.