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Mayor’s Column – May 17, 2017

May 17, 2017


Minerals North is an annual conference focusing exclusively on the mining industry. The venue moves among northern communities with Houston hosting it next year. Chetwynd’s application to host in 2019 has been accepted and Economic Development Officer (EDO), Ellen McAvany, is moving rapidly to engage the links to government and industry that  will come together to ensure that 2019 is a memorable event.

Don’t suppose that because coal is the only substance mined in our region that Minerals North will turn into just another coal conference. As a matter of fact, coal is not the only hard substance extracted from our north-eastern landscape. Enormous quantities of sand, gravel, and rock are also mined in the region. Don’t laugh. Digging out sand, gravel, and rock is called mining and falls under mining legislation. Still, the interest is much broader even than that. Minerals North draws from the complete range of mining interests in British Columbia and our Region needs to jump on board to participate in an event that could bring much attention to our area.

Because of the number of mining companies with offices in Vancouver, this conference generates attendees with skills and interests ranging through geology, finance, regulation, government, equipment suppliers, and industry management.

During the North Central Local Government Association Convention in Terrace a couple of weeks ago I, Councillors Brownlee and Weisgerber with CAO Fleming had the opportunity to sit down with three board members of the governing body of Minerals North. They were excited, to say it mildly, about the prospect of holding the conference in Chetwynd – on this side of the rocks for the first time.

After hearing the Board’s side of the story, I am excited also and eager to see it come together. I have full confidence that our EDO will bring it together in fine style.

In keeping with Chetwynd’s concept of working together with everyone in the North East, and our understanding of the unity and brotherhood (sisterhood, motherhood, fatherhood) of all believers in the strength of working together and sharing the benefits, we would invite participation from every community. Yes, this circle takes in the Areas of the Regional District. Granted, not all of you will have the same level of interest and enthusiasm as you might have if you lived in Chetwynd, the Gateway to the Peace, but please know that you are welcome to share in our enthusiasm and in whatever benefits spin out from the effort.

The Minerals North Board members were careful to stress that this conference is a mining event, not mining and gas or mining and oil or mining and timber – or even mining and tourism. Mining. This clarity means that there will be no confusion when presenters are recruited or when trade-show displays are considered. The focus of everyone from government to industry and equipment suppliers will be mining.

Having said all that, I see no issue with introducing the Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark to the mining industry. Indeed, it could be a major draw so I expect that EDO Ellen will in due course contact Tumbler Ridge to work on details of participation at multiple levels.


Merlin Nichols, Mayor