Troy Patterson, a Cadboro Bay 15-year-old, got a virtual meeting with B.C.’s environment minister months after he started an online petition calling for construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline to stop. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)

Troy Patterson, a Cadboro Bay 15-year-old, got a virtual meeting with B.C.’s environment minister months after he started an online petition calling for construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline to stop. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)

B.C. teen’s 23,000-name Coastal GasLink petition gets him an audience with the minister

15-year-old Saanich high school student and George Heyman discussed project for about 30 minutes

After Troy Patterson’s petition against the Coastal GasLink pipeline’s construction gained over 23,000 signatures, the teen earned himself enough attention to get a meeting with B.C.’s environment minister.

The Greater Victoria area 15-year-old met virtually with George Heyman, minister of environment and climate change strategy, for about 30 minutes earlier this month.

“I’m glad that somebody finally agreed to speak with me because I think it’s good for the government to be able to see young people’s perspective on this,” Patterson said. “It is our future, right.”

READ: Cadboro Bay teen’s petition to stop Coastal GasLink pipeline garners over 23,000 signatures

The conversation included Indigenous consent for the project and how it’s being built.

“I am, of course, nowhere near convinced that this will do more good than bad,” the Claremont Secondary student said.

Once completed, TC Energy’s 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline will transport natural gas from the Dawson Creek area to the LNG Canada export facility in Kitimat, where the company says it’ll be converted into liquefied natural gas and shipped to global markets.

One of Patterson’s main worries when he started the petition was the potential impact on wildlife if the pipeline increases tanker traffic off the province’s northern coast.

He was slightly relieved to that hear that three tugboats will help large tankers traverse tight channels on their way to Kitimat.

Heyman told Patterson that B.C. will still be able to meet its 2030 emissions reduction targets with the pipeline operational, but it’ll be by a slimmer margin than without it. Patterson said the government should be more proactive and pursue projects that drive emissions down and create jobs in the renewable sector to fuel the economy.

“The point is not, we have a target and we’re going to go as close to that target as possible,” he said. “Why do we protect grizzly bears, well it’s because we nearly drove them to extinction. Well how about we don’t nearly drive our environment to extinction – how about we protect it now.”

READ: Coastal GasLink reaches 692 km pipe delivery milestone

A ministry-provided response said liquefied natural gas “must fit within” B.C.’s climate targets and they’re focused on reducing emissions from LNG extraction, production and liquefication.

Patterson said he told Heyman he’s concerned that the province isn’t putting enough focus on training current oil and gas workers for jobs in sustainable industries.

“We are, in a sense, saying that in five years you’ll be unemployed, whereas if we start retraining them now, we can make sure that everybody has a job,” he said.

With the goal to one day see the Great Bear Rainforest, Patterson hopes the province will protect the area until he gets a chance.

“This is my future and this is our future,” Patterson said. “By preserving this stuff now, we are preserving it for generations to come.”

READ: Saanich adopts 5.76% property tax hike for 2021


Do you have a story tip? Email: jake.romphf@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Saanich

Just Posted

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Holger Schwichtenberg and his son Philip talk in the barn of the 150-acre Schwichtenberg farm. This farm is one of many throughout B.C. that support more than 12,500 jobs across the province in the dairy industry. (Contributed Photo/B.C. Dairy Association)
Agassiz dairy farm a model of care for environment, animals, and family

Farm is part of a dairy sector centred in the Fraser Valley, supporting 12,500 jobs province-wide

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

The Great Gordini puts on a magic show for an avid audience during the first Storytime in the Park in this 2019 photo. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)
Storytime in the Park returns this summer

Day 1 registration is on June 30

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

(file)
Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Most Read