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“PG is the place to be every January” – looking back on the 2024 BCNRF

The 21st annual BC Natural Resources Forum (BCNRF) has wrapped up after three jam-packed days in Prince George.

Sarah Weber, Chair of the BCNRF Advisory Committee, said this year’s event was another hit.

“It brings together everybody from different groups,” she said, listing energy, forestry, mining, and certain Indigenous conferencegoers as examples. “Our goal is finding those common challenges and working on solutions together across the resource sector.”

Weber noted the provincial government has started to embrace the conference with multiple provincial news conferences and announcements being held throughout the week, either as a part of, or adjacent to the BCNRF.

This includes:

Provincial officials also took a guided tour of Moccasin Flats, Prince George’s homeless encampment, and BC United Leader Kevin Falcon announced if his party is elected in the fall, he would move the Ministry of Forests to Prince George.

Premier David Eby also shared his final thoughts from the conference with My PG Now.

Weber said one of the biggest shifts she has seen in the conference in the last 10 years is Indigenous involvement and reconciliation work.

“The nature of agreements made are shifting from benefits agreements to participation to equity ownership,” she explained. “It is very exciting to come every year and have that measurable change.”

Another massive shift the conference has seen is towards green energy.

This year in particular, Weber said could be a “watershed moment.”

“That investment from BC Hydro and the ministry, I don’t think people realize how large that is and what it could possibly mean.”

Behind the scenes, Weber said preparations for the three day conference take all year, and her team has already started work on the 2025 version of the event.

She said next year could be focused more on implementing new technologies, including Artificial Intelligence.

“I think there is a lot to learn, all of us together will have to figure that out.”

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