The west coast needs safe oil and gas development

Published on August 26, 2014

­Dear Editor: I have been drafting a letter in my head for months as I felt the other side needs to be heard.

There is so much talk from the anti-fracking side and the politicians have bowed to it with another review that delays development, yet no one will be happy with the results.

So here it goes: I, Trina Burden, am for oil and gas development in western Newfoundland. The science and monitoring systems are already present to ensure it is done safely. Let us not delay.  

As a resident, I want to see the boom that has benefitted St. John’s and the whole Avalon Peninsula. Why must we be the poor cousins, yet with beautiful scenery and better weather?

Why can’t we also have prosperity? Prosperity that does not just mean for businesses and certain people with high-paying jobs, but includes the investment governments can make in infrastructure and services and even the oil company’s contribution to local charities and groups.

This level of prosperity benefits all residents and the community in general.  

As a mother and aunt, I want my young children, nieces and nephew to reap the benefits of economic prosperity in recreation facilities and state-of-the art-education.

As a daughter, I want my parents to have the benefits of a hospital and health-care system that have all the latest technologies and treatments locally delivered.

As a resident who loves camping, hiking, skiing, biking, music and theatre, I am confident that oil and gas development will only help develop more trails and recreation opportunities in the great outdoors, and the arts scene will further flourish.

For those of you who think we can prosper without oil and gas development, I have worked in economic development and I have some sad news — big manufacturing companies are not coming to set up shop in Corner Brook, where we have no competitive advantage.

Tourism is not going to save us. Corner Brook is only surviving as a service centre from the oil and gas salaries of Alberta.

We need to work with our natural resources as we have done in the past with the fishery and forestry.

Now it is time for the rocks to provide for us.

I urge other residents who want for the best for the future of western Newfoundland to stand up and say it.

Town councils and groups, speak up, as I and others have not heard you.

The message to the provincial government: We want and need oil and gas development; please help us get there safely.

Trina Burden, Corner Brook