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Chamber of Commerce pledges support for Teck, Frontier mine

Last Updated Feb 20, 2020 at 8:43 pm MST

PHOTO. Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce members (left to right) Benjamin Gill, Crystal Coffin, Melanie Galea, First Vice-President Kristi Hines, and Executive Director Sheri Pidhirney at the Chamber of Commerce dinner on Feb. 20, 2020. The Chamber of Commerce wrote a letter of support of Teck Resources' Frontier Mine addressed to federal Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan. MYMCMURRAY/Phil Wood.

Teck’s proposed Frontier mine project received more support from the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce.

Its Board of Directors issued a letter of support to Seamus O’Regan, the federal Minister of Natural Resources.

The Chamber asked O’Regan and the federal cabinet to follow the Alberta Energy Regulator’s recommendation and approve the project.

“Fort McMurray and Alberta have faced significant challenges over the past few years. From a prolonged economic downturn to one of the most significant natural disasters in Canadian history, business owners and the thousands of people they employ have done their best to persevere, despite being faced with a number of setbacks.”

The Chamber of Commerce has more than 400 members within Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo.

It estimated construction would create 7,000 jobs with another 2,500 jobs created during the mine’s 41-year lifespan.

Also, Teck estimates they would annually spend $219-million on contracts and services in Wood Buffalo during its operations.

As for taxes, Frontier would pay $12-billion to Canada, $55-billion to Alberta in taxes and royalties, and $3.5-billion in property taxes to the region.

 

The Chamber added Teck will provide relief and support to families and businesses, and bring hope for the community’s future.

“While we acknowledge the environmental concerns, our producers are among the most environmentally responsible in the world. As such, we view these challenges as a further opportunity to demonstrate world-class solutions that appropriately balance environmental concerns with economic and social benefits.”

 

Opponents of the project said Frontier would produce at least four megatonnes of greenhouse gases per year until 2066.

This would conflict with the federal government’s long-term targets for emissions.

However, Teck stated earlier their goal is to be carbon neutral by 2050.

The Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce said they believe Teck’s commitment to responsible resource development.

Also, they highlighted Teck’s track record providing meaningful consultation with Indigenous stakeholders while positively impacting neighbouring communities.

“We urge you to recognize the robustness of Alberta’s regulatory process, the benefit to all Canadians and our responsibility to be a world leader in both resource development and environmental stewardship.”

If approved, the site for Frontier would be 110 kilometres north of Fort McMurray.

The Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce held a dinner meeting at the 57 North Restaurant on Feb. 20, 2020.

During which they formally closed the nomination period for the 2020 Board of Directors.

They also celebrated the opening of 57 North, which officially opened Dec. 14, 2019.

Members meet for the Annual General Meeting on Mar. 19, 2020, where they will elect a President, 2nd Vice President, and four directors.