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

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Danny Fulton receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 27. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Drop-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic planned for Kelowna

Clinic at Kelowna Secondary School from June 22 to 24 from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

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

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Most Read