Kamloops & District Chamber of Commerce News

Natural Resources Forum Summary

The Natural Resources forum was hosted in Kamloops on May 27th, 2022 to kickstart the conversation about a low-carbon future and the important role the Kamloops and Interior BC will play in that shift.
The event was moderated by Kate Stebbings, Board President for the Kamloops & District Chamber of Commerce, who is also the Manager of Engagement for Trans Mountain Corporation.
The panelists represented diverse sectors of the Natural Resources Forum, which included:

Answers are not in quotations as they are paraphrased and rewritten from notes taken at the event.

“Let’s start with Tim from (Mining Association of BC) MABC- BC is well positioned to be a leader in responsible natural resource development that is at the forefront of the transition to sustainable production. What opportunities are facing our Province’s Natural Resource Industries?”

Tim: There is an opportunity to strategically plan the vision for resource sectors. There is also opportunity for indigenous partnership and reconciliation- the Declaration Act was only 3 years ago. There is a push to be Net Zero by 2025, which will not be possible without the collaboration with indigenous peoples. There are currently 16 operating mines in BC, with 7 potential new mines in the next 18-24 months, and $3.8 billion from the Federal Government to commit to strategy. We could have a sharper focus on speeding up permitting and authorization.

“Many of the industries represented in the Chamber’s membership are challenged by labour constraints, and I anticipate this may be the same for your industries. Can you speak to what your industry and company are doing to address this now and into the future?”

Korah: Inclusivity is important. As well, when talking about new hires, one can’t ask for 5-10 year goals, as you’ll likely not have them for that long! But you can help new hires build skills to get into other mines and industries.

“There are incredible examples of partnerships with Indigenous Peoples across your industries. Can you speak to how reconciliation will play a role in the future of resource development and what’s currently happening in your sector?

Korah: I encourage everyone to really reflect on your “why”- are you working at building meaningful connections, or filling a quota? There is an increase of desire to work with Indigenous, but individual communities might not have the capacity. Learn and understand the needs, integrity, and creativity of local Indigenous cultures and commit to building trust and relationships with them.
Tim: We are working within a government to government frame. We have equity participation with the Crown and can work at incorporating cultural heritage.
Geoffrey: The gas industry was created almost 25 years ago, and there is capacity available in North Eastern BC. We need to do better now with our communications, ideas, and plan- There is no economic development without everyone’s participation.
Alexa: Industries that are committed to enhancing relationships and embracing cultural differences are the ones that will be successful.

“What role will innovation play in the resource sectors of the future?”
Alexa: Collaboration across industries will create wide diversity across longer distances. We can focus on how to support Canada with new digital technologies, smartly, and work on regulating the climate to make these investments.

“You have all touched on significant opportunities for BC to be a leader in resource development for years and decades to come. Can you touch on what we need to be successful? How can we position BC’s Resource Sectors for success?

Geoffrey : We need to be competitive in capital and track capital. We also need infrastructure with clear and efficient regulations to keep pace with the rest of the world.

“Members within Kamloops & District are concerned about the next 10-20-30 years down the road in the wake of natural disaster events, global supply challenges and other external factors. Can you speak to what the future holds for your sectors?”

Alexa: We have a shrinking fibre supply due to many factors, such as climate, forestry, pine beetle kill, and more. We send out polls regularly, and have found that the vast majority of BC is in support of the forest industry. 80% see the Province’s pre-selections and raise partnerships, including SME businesses.
Tim: Partnered Opportunity and Stakeholders  are vital to achieve anything. We need to work on decarbonization and critical mining strategy. Copper is in order to reach net 0.
Korah: Consider your impacts now and have the community provide feedback for a long term plan in sustainable ways.

“To end, let’s focus on local opportunities for our members. In one sentence, can you identify where you see the greatest opportunity for the Kamloops and area business community?”

Geoffrey : Northeastern BC will see a lot of growth due to Transmountain.
Alexa: Do you have ideas that will help make our supply chains more effective?
Tim: There are around 3700 SMC Businesses, 7 new mining opportunities, and we’re setting the stage with gov’t to make sure they have line of sight.
Korah: Work together to find solutions, instead of competing.

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The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce is situated on the traditional and unceded lands of the Tk'emlups Te Secwepemc within Secwepemc'ulucw, the traditional territory of the Secwepemc people. We are honored to live and work and play on this land and acknowledge the complicated history and humbly move forward in a spirit of collaboration and gratitude.