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

Gerry Vowles (left), Michael Cook, and Dave Sinclair were awarded “Dominion Command Presidential Citations” June 17 in Cloverdale. The rare awards were given out for “exemplary service to the Legion.” (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Three B.C. legionnaires awarded ‘Presidential Citations’

Ceremony took place in Cloverdale June 17

A cache of 89 crabs was discovered during a 2018 compliance inspection at South Surrey’s Elgin Park Marina. (Contributed photo)
$7,500 fine for illegal crab harvest discovered in South Surrey

Laird Goddyn found guilty in Surrey Provincial Court following 2018 investigation

City of Surrey photo
Surrey starts Slow Streets pilot project

Speed limits have been reduced in six Surrey neighbourhood zones for one year to monitor impact on residents

Kaushal Parikh raised $2,840 for COVID-19 relief in India during his almost nine-hour run around the new North Delta Secondary School track on Sunday, June 13, 2021. (Submitted photo)
North Delta ultramarathoner raises over $2,800 for COVID relief in India

Kaushal Parikh ran the 90-km virtual Comrades Marathon around the NDSS track in under nine hours

Gymnast Shallon Olsen. (Photo: olympic.ca)
Olympics-bound Surrey gymnast Shallon Olsen enters sports hall of fame – in Coquitlam

She was the youngest member of Team Canada when she made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

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

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read