The North Matters rally in Houston

The North Matters rally in Houston

A convoy of vehicles wound its way through Houston Saturday as a sign of support of resource development in the region.

Sponsored by The North Matters, a group which started in Kitimat one year ago and now spreading throughout the region, the convoy also helped draw attention to starting a chapter of the movement in the Bulkley Valley.

“We had an excellent attendance. Vehicles from Smithers, Burns Lake, Telkwa and Houston,” says Dwain Erhardt, one of the local organizers.

“There were cars, SUVs, trucks, large trucks.”

A follow up rally at the Legion drew around 100 people, an event Erhardt said was to bridge the gap within the community.

“We need to bridge that gap between anti-pipeline and pro-pipeline,” said Erhardt of the local focus on the Coastal GasLink pipeline project which would deliver natural gas from northeastern B.C. to the LNG Canada liquefied natural gas plant now under construction at Kitimat.

He said the rally had a respectful atmosphere featuring speakers from around the region.

Now retired, Erhardt’s working career included running a laundromat and drycleaning business, supplying coveralls and work clothing to mines, sawmills and other industries.

“Without the resource industry, we wouldn’t have had a business,” said Erhardt, keying on the importance of resource development to provide jobs and economic opportunity.

“We’ve got to find a way to move these projects forward. If not, it’s going to set the north back 20 to 30 years,” he said.

Erhardt extended a thanks to the organizing committee and to those who attended.

“They all helped to make it a success,” he said.

Speaking at the rally were Skeena BC Liberal MLA Ellis Ross, Chief Dan George from Burns Lake, Steve Simons and Natasha Westover. Ross also read a message from John Rustad, the B.C. Liberal MLA for Nechako Lakes who was unable to attend.

A message was also read by Steve Smith on behalf of Theresa Tait Day.

A blessing was provided by Marion Tiljoe Shepherd on behalf of her father, hereditary chief Russell Tiljoe Shepherd. The MC was Lisa Makuk.

Invited but unavailable was Doug Donaldson, the NDP MLA for Stikine and also the forests, lands and natural resource operations and rural development in the NDP government.

 

The North Matters rally in Houston

The North Matters rally in Houston

The North Matters rally in Houston

The North Matters rally in Houston

The North Matters rally in Houston

The North Matters rally in Houston

The North Matters rally in Houston

The North Matters rally in Houston

The North Matters rally in Houston

The North Matters rally in Houston

The North Matters rally in Houston

The North Matters rally in Houston

The North Matters rally in Houston

The North Matters rally in Houston