Feature Story                                                                                        Tuesday, December 17, 2013


MLA's Make Merry

John Martin shares the Christmas spirit at Open House meet and greet

Staff/Voice photos


Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz chats with former MLA John Les (R) while MLA Laurie Throness (L) listens to a constituent who dropped by the Open House last Friday.


hilliwack MLA John Martin was in full festive swing on Friday for his Open House. He was joined by fellow Chilliwack-Hope MLA and Laurie Throness.


Among his esteemed guests were Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz, former MLA John Les and recent School Board by-election candidate Ben Besler.


It’s been a hectic year for John Martin as he settles into his new job as Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Chilliwack riding. Now that the holiday season is here, it’s a chance for him to kick back unwind and enjoy some time with family.


“I’ll be staying home, having some nice quiet time over the holidays, just the family and get together with a few friends and seeing if my dogs and I can get re-introduced to one another as I haven't had much of a chance to spend time with them,” he said.


“It's been an exciting year,” Martin pointed out. “I had an opportunity to meet so many great people and be introduced to so many parts of the Chilliwack community and become familiar with some of the great work that people do here. It's such a giving community. it's such a charitable community and I just can't say enough about how fortunate I feel about having the opportunity to be a part of that, and I'm looking forward doing more of the same and meeting more people and working hard for Chilliwack on behalf of the constituents in 2014.”


Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness echoed his counterpart’s sentiments.


“It's been a great year being elected as MLA. It's been a tremendous privilege — and also a lot of work — and now it's Christmastime, so I am getting ready to celebrate and I hope my constituents are too and I want to wish them a very Merry Christmas and a happiest 2014,” said Throness.



Chilliwack MLA John Martin shares some seasonal levity with guests last Friday.


The MLA’s will head back to Victoria on February 11 and one of the top items on the agenda in the Legislature will be the Liberal’s Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) program.


“We're looking forward to starting LNG up north and hopefully paying off our provincial debt beginning in February,” he said when asked about what constituents can expect to be coming down the pike adding “They will pay us royalties of taxes and spending and building all that stuff, it's going to really help BC, and it's helped already.”


New uses for LNG are being developed all the time. For instance, Shell Canada and Caterpillar announced today that the two companies have signed an agreement to look at new engine and fuel mix using LNG by 2016  that could lower operating costs and reduce emissions from the oil sands in Alberta.


"To succeed commercially in the future, we believe we have to be able to compete both economically and environmentally. We believe that is what Canadians want," said Shell's VP, Oil Sands, John Rhind. "With heavy hauling being such a core part of our operation, success with this could make a real difference in our operations costs and emissions."


"We are excited to collaborate with Shell on this latest initiative to power Cat® mining trucks with Caterpillar's LNG technology. Many of our customers are asking for natural-gas powered equipment in order to reap the financial and environmental benefits. This agreement further builds upon our efforts in delivering cost effective, reliable and innovative solutions to our customers," said Chris Curfman, Caterpillar Vice President with responsibility for Mining Sales & Support Division.


Also today, the federal government announced the National Energy Board has opened the door for Liquid Natural Gas shipping overseas by granting four, 25-year export licences.


Read more about this and which companies were given licences here.



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