B.C. Premier David Eby, in his first scheduled visit to Prince George since taking over from John Horgan as head of the provincial government, will address the 20th annual BC Natural Resources Forum banquet at the Prince George Civic and Convention Centre next Tuesday evening.

It will be the first time in thee years the forum will be an in-person event, after two years as a virtual conference during the pandemic.

The forum begins Wednesday morning with an opening address from Sarah Weber, president and CEO of C3 Alliance Corp, followed by short speeches from Lheidli T’enneh chief Dolleen Logan, Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer, Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty, Prince George Valemount MLA Shirley Bond and Prince George Mayor Simon Yu.

Forestry is the first resource sector featured in a panel discussion Wednesday at 9:05 a.m. – Big Ideas. Great Forestry. BC’s story: What’s Next for BC’s Forest Sector. Moderated by Linda Coady, president/CEO of BC Council of Forest Industries, the panelists include Lennard Joe, CEO of BC First Nations Forestry Council; Suzanne Gill, president/CEO of Genome BC; Jennifer Foster, senior vice-president of human resources & corporate affairs, Western Forest Products; and Jason Fisher, partner at MNP.

Simon Pascoe, general manager of Rio Tinto’s BC Works, will then take the podium at 10:25 a.m.for the opening keynote address.

Anyone with an interest in anthropology might want to attend the 10:45 a.m. discussion on Wednesday – Uncovering History of Human Occupation in Central BC: An Innovative Partnership Between An Indigenous Community and Industry – which will feature Mike Robertson, senior policy advisor of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation, and Kevin Dobbin, head of strategic partnerships at Rio Tinto.

The second group talk of the day at 11:10 a.m. – Progressive Indigenous Business Initiatives, features Saulteau First Nations Chief Justin Napoleon; chief counsellor Chris Roberts of Wei Wai Kurn Nation; chief counsellor Crystal Smith of Haisla Nation; and Lori Ackerman, and CEO of Blueberry River Resources. Scott Cavan, head of strategy and external relations  of First Nations Major Projects Coalition is the moderator.

Terry Teegee, regional chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, will deliver the Wednesday keynote luncheon from 12:45-2 p.m.

The Future of the Workforce panel scheduled for from 2:45-3:45 p.m., features Wayne Prins, executive director of the Christian Labour Association of Canada; Shelley Gray, CEO of SkilledTradesBC; Patrick Campbell, Canadian regional director, International Union of Operating Engineers; and Cara Lenoir, director of strategic projects and partner engagement, B.C. Centre of Training and Excellence in Mining. Fiona Famulak, president/CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce, will moderate.

Julie Dabrusin, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources/Minister of Environment and Climate Change will provide the afternoon keynote speech from 4:05-4:25 p.m.

Wednesday’s discussions wrap up with a fireside chat at 4:25 p.m. – LNG Export: Putting Canada On The Map – which will involve Jadon Klein, CEP of LNG Canada and Bevin Wirzba, president of Coastal GasLink. Margaret Dovgal, managing director of Resource Works, will moderate.

The conference crowd will be well-fed at the Resource Ministers’ Breakfast, which features six B.C. cabinet ministers – Josie Osbourne (Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation), George Heyman (Environment and Climate Change Strategy), Bruce Ralston (Forests), Murray Rankin (Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation), Brenda Bailey (Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation) and Nathan Cullen (Water, Land and Resource Stewardship). Sharon Singh, co-head of Aboriginal law of Bennett-Jones will moderate.

Chris O’Reilly, president/CEO of BC Hydro, will provide the morning keynote speech, from 9:25-9:45 a.m.

Mining will be the focus of the first Thursday panel – Leaving a Positive Legacy: Mining & Indigenous Communities – from 9:45-10:45 a.m. The panel includes Christy Smith, vice-president of Indigenous and Stakeholder Relations, Falkirk Mining Co; Paul Gruner, CEO of Tahltan Nation Development Corp.; Nalaine Morin, VP of sustainability, Skeena Resources Ltd; and Jessica Wood, associate deputy minister and Declaration Act secretariat, Si Sityaawks. Michael Goehring, president/CEO of MABC, will moderate.

At 11:15 a.m.,Innovation in BC’s Natural Gas Production, includes panelists Cam Anderson, North River Midstream’s VP of new ventures and energy transition; Scott Volk, technology and innovation lead, Tourmaline; Lisa Balton, president/CEO, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers; and Jennifer Blaney, government relations manager, Ovintiv Inc.

Tracy Robinson, president/CEO of Canadian National Railway, will speak at the keynote luncheon, Thursday 12:50-2:10 p.m.

The final panel of the forum Thursday at 2:45 p.m. – Hydrogen Now & To The Future – includes Jessica Verhagen, CEO of Hydra Energy Corp; Mary Fry, director of production assets, HTEC: Joe Mazza, vice-president of energy supply and resource development, BC Hydro; and Neil Dobson, chief sustainability officer, Hydrogen Naturally. The moderator is Matthew Klippenstein, executive director of Hydrogen BC.

A pre-forum Low Carbon Leadership From Prince George’s Resource Sector tour on Tuesday from 9:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m. will showcase local industry efforts to create a low-carbon future. Registration is limited to 20 people.Workshops on employee benefit agreements and crisis communications are also planned for Tuesday.

The Celebrate The North reception on Wednesday from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, 444 George St.,, presented by the Independent Contractors and Business Association and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, is an opportunity to network. The event is free to attend but pre-registation is required.

More information is available on the forum website.

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