Fredericton group seeks social licence for resource projects

A new natural resources task force in Fredericton will aim to create awareness and general acceptance from the public for development projects, such as the TransCanada Energy East pipeline and the Sisson mine, according to Krista Ross, the chief executive officer of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce.

Natural Resources task force attempts to educate and boost support for Energy East pipeline, Sisson mine

Krista Ross is the chief executive officer of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce. (CBC)

A new natural resources task force in Fredericton aims to create awareness and general acceptance from the public for development projects, such as the TransCanada Energy East pipeline and the Sisson mine.

Krista Ross, the chief executive officer of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, says it's a way to build support for the projects.

"I think with knowledge and education comes acceptance and comes support," Ross said on Information Morning Fredericton.

"With support for these projects comes the community social licence that people are seeking."

TransCanada's proposed Energy East pipeline would ship crude from Alberta to New Brunswick. (Canadian Press)
The task force includes representatives from the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, Ignite Fredericton, TransCanada and the Sisson Partnership.

Projects such as the Energy East pipeline and Sisson mine are in need of public backing at this point, said Ross.

Natural resource development has been a socially divisive issue in New Brunswick in recent years. In December, the provincial government announced a moratorium on all forms of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing.

The moratorium won't be lifted until five conditions are met, including a social licence, or demonstrated public support.

Ross said the task force is meant to educate the community at large and the thousands of employees who work for the 950 businesses the city's Chamber of Commerce represents.

Ross said the task force will emphasize the public can be both in support of business and in support of responsible environment, rather than choosing one over the other.