“Supporter Spotlight” features Canadians with a passion for Canada’s Natural Resource sector. Our spotlight this month is Yvon Laprise, an advocate in support of the LNG project in Saguenay, Quebec who is passionate about fishing, snowmobiling, camping and the great outdoors.
Canada Action: Yvon, thank you so much for taking the time today. You are the founder of “Pour GNL” (Yes LNG), a group that supports the LNG project in Saguenay, Quebec. Tell me how you came to be involved with the cause?
Yvon: Well, I got involved with the cause a year ago. I have never really been interested in LNG or oil. And when the LNG project started around 2012, I didn’t pay any attention to it. I wasn’t for it, I wasn’t against it - it simply didn’t interest me. But in February last year, a politician from another region said in a written piece that “80% of people from Saguenay are against the project… and tomorrow I will be coming to Saguenay and I’m going to tell you why you’re against it”.
When I heard that, I got upset. I thought to myself, here we have, yet again, an outsider getting involved with our matters and not only that, she’s going to TELL us why we’re against it. And maybe if she hadn’t said that line, I would’ve never paid attention to the project. But she did and that compelled me to get informed.
That same afternoon, I created a Facebook group. I just wanted to get a feel for others’ opinions, in my immediate circle and friends of friends. And within days, the group generated 37k followers! And at that point, I didn’t know anything about the project or LNG. As of then, I started doing research and questioning everything about LNG.
Canada Action: So before then you were not really involved at all with any kind of natural resource. No one in your family or friends work within the industry.
Yvon: Correct. I actually work in the aluminum sector and I also make websites. So really this was all very new to me.
Canada Action: What you would say are some misconceptions that people have in regards to LNG? What have you learned in the past year?
Yvon: The moment you mention the word fuel people instantly think tar sands and big pollution. People don’t understand that the industry has evolved in the past 40 years and that things aren’t done the same way as they used to. When I talk about LNG, I tell people that it’s a transition energy and that we have no choice to use it because we currently do not have any other options. We don’t have renewable energy that generates the quantity of energy that we need to live.
For example I work in the aluminum sector. We need a lot of electricity to produce aluminum and a windmill is not able to produce the quantity that is needed. If we don’t produce this energy, we can all say goodbye to our cars, to our electricity, to everything. Here in Quebec we are lucky; we have hydroelectricity. But not all countries around the world have that opportunity. Canada is the luckiest country in the world. There are still some countries that use coal and this project will help reduce greenhouse gases.
Canada Action: Why do you think natural resource development is important for Canada?
Yvon: First it’s important for our economy. Second, we have the strictest environmental laws on the planet. We might as well be the planet’s supplier! Better us than other countries with lower standards that are hurtful for the planet.
Canada Action: Why do you think all Canadians should care about Canadian natural resource development? Is there any kind of message that you want to tell Canadians reading this?
Yvon: You know, in Alberta, everyone knows someone who works within the industry. Here (in Quebec), no one knows anyone. It’s far removed from us. It feels like people don’t understand that this is in OUR economy. This is the Canadian economy. It’s our pockets. It’s not somewhere far away!
Canada Action: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Yvon: Yes. I want to mention that the issue Alberta is facing with the Keystone Pipeline, it affects all of us. Not just Albertans. People like to comment about oil & gas… but everyone is really happy when the equalization payments come in. It’s really important that people understand that we are all affected by what happens in all of our provinces.
Canada Action: Yvon, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much for your time today.
Yvon: Thank you.
Do you know someone who works hard for Canada’s natural resources sector and should be featured in our “Supporter Spotlight” segment? Tag us @canadaaction using the hashtag #inthespotlight with your nominees!
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