The two-day LNG Regional Energy Seminar in Nanaimo attracted people from opposite ends of the spectrum, including staunch opponents and strong supporters.
Demonstrators outside the Conference Centre held up signs protesting fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, which is one of the ways that liquefied natural gas is extracted.
Activist Shelagh Bell-Irving said she’s concerned that students were bused to the event to learn about jobs being created by the LNG industry.
Meanwhile, Adam Stowe with Steelhead LNG said they were at the event to answer questions about an LNG facility proposed for Sarita Bay outside Port Alberni.
Stowe says the next four years will be crucial, as they work on completing environmental and economic assessments. If that goes well and the Huu-ay-aht First Nations agree to a partnership, they’ll make an FID (Final Investment Decision) and start construction. He estimates the construction phase would generate around 4000 jobs, and the LNG facility would employ around 400 people once it’s up and running.