Skeena MLA Ellis Ross (centre) chats with Mark Doratti, Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce second vice-president from (left) Claudia Blair, executive director, Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett and director Vanessa Riplinger at the Tourism Discovery Centre Thursday. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Skeena MLA visits Williams Lake

The Official Opposition Critic for Natural Gas and Petroleum Resources toured Williams Lake and met with the local chamber Thursday

Non-Canadian decisions are influencing elections and resource development in B.C., said BC Liberal Skeena MLA Ellis Ross during a stop in Williams Lake Thursday.

“I thought at first it was a conspiracy theory to think that way, but the more I read in terms of the facts and what’s been happening, the more I realize that someone has to speak up about this,” he told the Tribune.

Lately Ross has been making it his mission to raise his concerns and as the BC Liberals’ Official Opposition Critic for Natural Gas and Petroleum Resources, he’s got the perfect platform.

“Take oil and gas for instance,” Ross explained. “The thoughts out there about the industry are not our own thoughts, it’s part of a larger campaign that is hell-bent on stopping oil and gas product from Canada reaching Asia. I can’t be silent about this.”

Ross addressed the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce during its regular luncheon and toured the city with Cariboo Chilcoltin MLA Donna Barnett who he said has been “relentlessly” inviting him to come to the Cariboo.

“Williams Lake is busy and I see so much going on here,” Ross said. “The parking lots are full — I kind of envy you guys.”

In his community of Kitimaat Village on B.C.’s North Coast, Ross served the Haisla Nation Council from 2003 to 2011, and was elected chief in 2011.

He resigned to run in the provincial election last May.

Through his time on council he was involved with oil and gas projects and said when the first project came before council it was for an import facility.

“We actually helped convince them to change it to an export facility,” Ross said, noting people in his region support LNG. “If anything there’s only one spot along the pipeline route between Prince George and Kitimat where they are having difficulty finding a route.”

Ross said in his election campaign he promised he would fight for the area’s economy, which embraces Terrace south to Kitimaat, north to the Nass Valley and Alice Arm, east to Cedarvale and west about half way to Prince Rupert.

When asked if he’s enjoying being an MLA, he chuckled.

“It is a strange position to be in, given where I came from,” he explained. “I came from a reserve, with no future, no dreams, no plan to get anywhere.”

As a teenager he fell into using drugs and hanging around, he said.

One night when he was standing in front of the fire hall in his village, watching people, he had an epiphany and decided to become a basketball player.

He credits getting into the game and the nudging of a high school English teacher who encouraged him to work harder at school for turning his life around.

Just Posted

WATCH: Fire crews extinguish single vehicle fire

Firefighters quickly douse flames under hood of pick up Saturday

Bortolussi a household name at complex

Cheers echo throughout the rafters of the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.

What does home look like to you?

Columnist David Zirnhelt drops us a line from Mexico

Mount Polley to begin dredging Springer Pit

Water and tailings being stored in the Springer Pit since the 2014 breach will now be returned to the tailings storage facility.

Update: Snowfall warning ends for Williams Lake Friday, Feb 23

Several centimetres of snow is expected by the afternoon

Evacuated cat finds his way home seven months after B.C. wildfires

‘He just decided he was going on a holiday — an extended holiday’

The way government learn someone has died is getting a digital overhaul

Governments in Canada turned to private consultants 2 years ago to offer blueprint

Bobsleigh team misses Olympic medal finish

Canadian team finishes four-man event 0.84 seconds behind first place, 0.31 seconds from podium

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Cariboo woman raises funds for Seizure Investigation Unit beds at VGH

VGH Foundation gets VCH approval to begin fundraising for SIU beds; local efforts are paying off

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

BCHL Today: Cowichan Caps play spoiler and Nanaimo wins 10th straight game

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Most Read