Mayor Kerry Cook represented the City of Williams Lake at the BC Business Summit in Vancouver Nov. 12-13, participating in a panel discussion called Resourcing Prosperity: Sustainable Natural Resources with other elected officials and business leaders.
The panelists, Minister of Environment Mary Polak, Mining Association of BC CEO Karina Brino, Pacific Oil and Gas President Ratnesh Bedi, and Cook, discussed the opportunities and challenges for future natural resource development in the province.
The Summit had over 600 provincial, Canadian, and international participants, and was attended by the premier and provincial and federal cabinet ministers.
“This was an unprecedented opportunity to build a stronger economy for BC,” says Cook. “The major themes of the summit parallel the Williams Lake example of community collaboration and First Nations relations.
“We need resource development and it’s not a matter of if, but how. We need to innovate and to move away from polarized positions. The importance of social license was stressed throughout the conference.”
The Summit included a keynote address from Premier Christy Clark, remarks from federal Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia James Moore, President and CEO of Teck Don Lindsay, and Jason Kenney, federal Minister of Employment and Social Development. Additional panels discussed international trade, skills training, transportation and infrastructure, and economic competiveness and fiscal discipline.
Also while at the summit, the mayor met with cabinet ministers and business leaders, and attended a luncheon with West Fraser Executive Chairman Hank Ketcham.
West Fraser is the largest lumber producer in North America.