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D'Avignon Letter to the Editor: Mayor should embrace BC's resource industries
(Vancouver Sun)

Re: It’s not just bike lanes; city also improving economy, Letters, Aug. 2

Mayor Gregor Robertson seeks to grow our green economy and technology sectors, which we support. Technology represents an exciting growth opportunity for the region and future generations

However, the mayor ignores the role of natural resource industries as the underpinning of the economic well-being for the Lower Mainland and our province. By repeatedly attacking the coal industry, commodities sectors and the port, the mayor sends a message that the city’s economy doesn’t need natural resource or transportation industries.

Anyone who takes an inventory of the tenants occupying Vancouver’s office towers will quickly discover the mineral exploration and production industry is the single biggest segment of the city’s corporate sector and a key driver today and for years to come in Vancouver’s economy.

Mining companies and the hundreds of local enterprises that serve them — law and accounting firms, engineering companies, and financial businesses — contribute a large share of the property tax revenue collected by the city each year. These sectors and professions make possible the safe and sustainable extraction and production of materials used in new technology and the very green sectors the mayor promotes.

Elsewhere in North America, local elected representatives champion the diversification of the regional economy and do not pit industries against one another. Visit any tower downtown to read the roster of companies that occupy them and speak to the employees at those taxpaying entities. You’ll find we are a resource town that can and does use and facilitate technology, green-economy companies and innovation in all its forms. It’s the future for B.C. and a strength worth embracing — not disowning.

GREG D’AVIGNON, President and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia

As posted online and printed in the Vancouver Sun