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Notes from the tech, digital and creative stream

CredConvo tech breakout group

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Our first Credible Conversations forum was held May 29th in Vancouver. Over 100 business leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians, First Nations representatives and BC residents came together to discuss the economic risks of pipeline expansion and explore how to build a more diversified economy on the west coast. 

*These are rough notes from the break-out sessions and are not meant to convey the opinions of all CRED members, or even all participants in the break-out group.

How could a new oil pipeline affect the tech, digital and creative industries?

Costs / risks:

  • Environmental damage
  • Brand risk to Vancouver
  • In general, not enough is known on the risks to tech/film

Information needed:

  • Need reputable, accessible information available through a central resource
  • Need a clear outline of the risks
  • Case studies, surveys
  • More understanding of the alternatives / solutions
  • Solution-focused, with outline of clear actions to take
  • Look to industry to take a position
  • Key spokespeople
  • Information for parents: what are the risks to children?
  • Need tools: advocacy, outreach, socialization

Where are the opportunities to support this sector?

  • Education
  • Ride-share programs, electing to go car-free
  • Platforms for easy communication sharing that supports more low-carbon lifestyles
  • Crowd-funding opportunities for start-ups
  • Creative solutions
  • Online training platforms
  • Opportunities for online conversations that bring more people into the discussion and maintain it beyond events like this

Notes from the cross-sectoral stream

Cross sectoral group

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Our first Credible Conversations forum was held May 29th in Vancouver. Over 100 business leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians, First Nations representatives and BC residents came together to discuss the economic risks of pipeline expansion and explore how to build a more diversified economy on the west coast. 

*These are rough notes from the break-out sessions and are not meant to convey the opinions of all CRED members, or even all participants in the break-out group.

What does cross-sectoral mean?

  • Interdisciplinary, multifaceted, coming from different perspectives
  • Inclusivity and diversity, bridge between cultures
  • How sectors can work together
  • Shared interests, big picture
  • Directing forces and ideas
  • Common / shared interests, collaboration
  • Includes unions

How might a new oil pipeline affect the west coast’s economy?

Costs/risks:

  • Increased reliance on foreign investment
  • Risk of skills drain
  • Free trade deals (contradictions)
  • No local energy security plan
  • Chevron jobs at risk?
  • Climate change risks
  • Costs of oil spills – insufficient insurance, tourism/cruise ships, attracting talent
  • Kills innovation in alternative energies
  • Impacts the region’s livability
  • No long-term benefits locally

Benefits:

  • Lower taxes, more funds for health care & education
  • Jobs: construction, oil sands jobs
  • Strength of Canadian economy – global position as resource leader
  • Strengthen trade relationships with the US, China
  • Increased global oil supply
  • Pipelines are cheaper and safer than rail or road transportation
  • Return on RRSPs / equity market will benefit

Information needed:

  • What does a transition away from oil dependence look like as opposed to a crash?
  • Where else could tax revenues come from? (Carbon tax?)
  • More conversations on the oil economy vs the green economy
  • Need to break through the spin
  • Are people intimidated to speak up against real or perceived business interests?

Notes from the tourism & hospitality stream

Tourism group

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Our first Credible Conversations forum was held May 29th in Vancouver. Over 100 business leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians, First Nations representatives and BC residents came together to discuss the economic risks of pipeline expansion and explore how to build a more diversified economy on the west coast. 

*These are rough notes from the break-out sessions and are not meant to convey the opinions of all CRED members, or even all participants in the break-out group. 

What are the impacts of new pipelines on the tourism and hospitality industry?

Costs / risks:

Risks of increased tanker traffic

  • Marine life impacts
  • Visual pollution
  • Impact on kayaking and canoe tours
  • Impact on the brand of Vancouver

Risks of an oil spill along the coast

  • Could decimate fishing and coastal tourism
  • Decrease in fish stocks can be irreversible – example of Saskatchewan vs Alberta management of recreational fishing and fish stocks
  • Would hurt BC’s reputation as a pristine visitor destination
  • Impact on cruise ship traffic

Benefits:

  • Increased funding for arts and cultural activities from resource company marketing budgets
  • Potential to develop industrial tourism around the Westridge Marine Terminal

Information needed:

  • With the new pipelines, what does a business as usual scenario (i.e. increased tankers, no spills) look like?
  • What is the cumulative risk of small spills over time?
  • How will increased tankers impact salmon, orcas and other marine life?
  • Need common industry definitions of small, medium, large sized spills that are used consistently
  • Can tiers of impact be created in advance so that it’s clear what’s happening in the case of a spill and what the response should be?
  • Do funds need to be set aside for a big marking campaign promoting Vancouver as a destination in the case of a spill?
  • In the case of a spill, what would be recoverable and what would be the recovery time? (i.e. on small businesses)
  • What is the tourism industry’s exposure to transportation risk, considering the methods of transportation visitors use to get to the area?

What are the practical opportunities to support a more diversified economy?

First Nations-led tourism:

  • Popular with visitors looking to learn about indigenous culture
  • Can promote economic justice and increase tourism revenues at the same time
  • Opportunity for First Nations to reconnect with their culture
  • Eg Meares Island tree walk in Tofino, managed by the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations

Promote nature-based tourism in an urban setting:

  • Very few places in the world have the same juxtaposition as BC’s south coast
  • Half of the province’s tourism jobs are in the Lower Mainland
  • In the future, job shortages in tourism are predicted
  • Can learn from others: i.e. New Zealand’s eco tourism-centered strategy that involves many stakeholders from local governments to Maori groups

Make sure not to become overly reliant on tourism – places like Tofino, for example, are already very dependent and wouldn’t benefit from a stronger reliance on just one industry for their economic growth

CRED releases independent report highlighting Trans Mountain concerns

IanMeissnerChilliwackFarm

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On Tuesday February 26, CRED released a report highlighting the risks of Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline. In addition to pulling together the most important data about the project’s background, Kinder Morgan’s safety record, and potential impacts of a spill, our group uncovered some of the project’s main economic risks. Some of our key findings:

Jobs: The proposal would create 35 permanent jobs. And oil spill would put at risk industries that together employ over 200,000 people locally including tourism, film and TV, real estate, high tech, agriculture and coastal industries.

Tax revenues: The expansion would not make a significant contribution to provincial tax revenues.

Liability: In the case of a major spill, taxpayers would likely be responsible for the burden of costs, as a company’s liability is limited to $1.3 billion and a major spill could easily cost ten times this amount.

Some of CRED’s advisors highlight the most concerning elements of the report here:

Read or download the full report to learn more about the risks we uncovered.

Thanks to chilliwack360 for the image we used in the banner