From resource extraction activities such as logging and mining to the development of megaprojects such aspipelines and hydroelectric facilities, the development of BC’s natural resources is often subject to controversyand contestation. Such projects often raise questions about the ways in which different group value resourcesdifferently as well as issues related to the economic interests of the government, private companies, and thepublic; environmental concerns and sustainability, Indigenous rights and title, and political power.For this assignment, you will be writing a “backgrounder” that provides an overview of the key issues related to acurrent resource development project in BC. The idea is to create a document that anyone could pick up andgain a reasonable understanding of the topic, even if they knew nothing about it. Your backgrounder will need toprovide as accurate a picture as possible of the perspectives of different stakeholder groups. It will need to bethorough enough to allow the reader to get a good understanding of the issues but will also need to be veryconcise and clear.
Pick a specific development project to discuss. This is an opportunity to explore a topic of interest to youregarding natural resources. Here are some potential topics (please note that you may also come up with yourown topic – these are merely a few suggestions):
• Trans Mountain Pipeline
• Valemount Glacier Destination Resort
• LNG Canada Project
• Site C Dam
• Neptune Bulk Terminal expansion
Research your topic. You may need to consult a range of sources in order to try to get a more completepicture of the different sides of the debates over your topic, including newspaper articles, industry publications,government reports, activist organizations’ publications, etc. . Your discussion should draw from at least fourrelevant sources (e.g. newspapers, government reports, activist organization publications, industrpublications, etc.). While you are not required to use academic sources, you still need to make sure that yoursources are legitimate (i.e. not someone’s random blog post). The best responses will also make connectionsto course concepts related to natural resources and resource economies.
Write an essay. Your discussion should include the following:
• Overview, or background information on the topic. What are the main “facts” and what issues areunder contention?
• Explanation of perspectives of different groups. Who are the different groups weighing in on your topicand what are their perspectives? What are the relationships among these groups? Are there groupsmissing whose perspectives you think need to be considered? Which groups seem to wield the mostinfluence or power? Have the views of the public been taken into account (do they even need to be?)?Keep in mind that even within groups (for example among Indigenous people or activists) there arelikely to be multiple perspectives.
• Assessment and recommendations. Based on the information you’ve found out; which perspective orperspectives are the most convincing and what recommendations do you have? What do you think theprocess should be for making decisions about whether any proposed projects proceed? Make sure tosupport your perspective with logical evidence and information.Your discussion should be clearly organized into a cohesive essay with an introduction that outlines your mainpoints, a body that includes your supporting points, and a brief conclusion. Keep in mind that you will need tosummarize and paraphrase information from your sources and that the majority of your discussion shouldbe in your own words. In other words, I want you to explain your own understanding of the ideas, not simplyquote or summarize what others have said