How do you evaluate the major industrial projects proposed in your area?
That was the question raised by MP Nathan Cullen at a meeting with Houston residents at the Seniors Centre last Wednesday.
As part of a “Renewal Northwest” initiative, Cullen toured across the northwest and met in ten communities, including Houston, to gather ideas for a citizens guide to help citizens and investors “get to yes.”
There are a lot of large-scale industrial projects proposed across the northwest, including Embridge Northern Gateway, Blue Jack Mine, Shaft Creek, Forrest Kerr and Galore Creek, said Cullen.
“Give or take, as of a month ago, it’s about $60 billion worth of investment,” he said.
Cullen says the citizens guide is to help citizens critically evaluate the proposed projects, as well as to help investors form project proposals that will be supported by communities and gain a social license.
Eighteen Houston residents came to discuss ways they evaluate incoming projects.
They talked about the importance of environmental sustainability and companies giving back to the environment to sustain a resource.
They discussed economics, the importance of local benefits from a project, including local jobs and investments into local services and infrastructure.
They also talked about looking at the integrity of a company, getting honest answers about a project plans, and the ethics behind what a company is bringing to town.
Finally they talked about gauging the social impact of a project on a town and how a project might change town dynamics.
Cullen boiled down the discussion ideas into four main concerns: environment, economy, social impact, and ethics and integrity.
He wrapped up the event thanking the Houston Chamber of Commerce for organizing the event and the citizens for coming and participating.
Cullen promised to email the citizens guide, made from the ideas of the ten communities he visited, in a simple format so people can use it to guide them in asking a company the right questions.