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Former ‘Dragon’ breathes fire at ICBA keynote

Warren Frey
Former ‘Dragon’ breathes fire at ICBA keynote
WARREN FREY — Former Dragons’ Den star and investment banker Brett Wilson was the keynote speaker at the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association’s CEO Breakfast event, held Feb. 13 at Buildex Vancouver.

A Canadian media and business star has no time for those opposing oil and gas development.

Brett Wilson was the keynote speaker at the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C.’s (ICBA) annual CEO breakfast, held recently at Buildex Vancouver.

Wilson, an investment banker with a background in engineering and the oil and gas industry, and one of the star panellists on CBC’s “Dragon’s Den,” had harsh words for those who oppose pipeline and oil and gas projects, calling them “eco-terrorists,” who have captured the attention of the public.

“Social media has been a tool for ecoterrorists in capturing the flag and encouraging those who vote to adopt their positions,” Wilson said.

He also said the oil and gas industry is being singled out.

“B.C. is the largest exporter of coal in North America, and there’s never been one protest about coal. The mining industry has its own challenges and cleaning up tailing ponds is an extraordinary task, but not a peep,” Wilson said.

He also pointed out while the Government of B.C. doesn’t want tankers coming in and out of the west coast, “tankers are already going forth between Anchorage and Seattle.”

He also addressed equalization payments and said they have become unfair.

“When Ontario was a recipient, they were quiet. Quebec and the east are getting, and the rest of Canada is paying. The idea is to give everyone a similar quality of life,” Wilson said.

“My first choice is a better deal for Canada, which means everyone pulling on the same rope at the same time. The risk is that we pull the nation apart before putting it back together.”

Wilson also termed himself a skeptic regarding climate change.

“I think it’s caused by humans, but the list of the top 2,500 scientists that agree doesn’t exist,” he said, while pointing out he supports pursuing fruitful methods of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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