Hostages to the economy

No society or segment of society should be held hostage to an economy.

To a limited extent, the residents of Wood Buffalo/Fort McMurray might have felt a little like that. 

For sure, even prior to resource extraction, they were used to black sands and oil in the bush, but perhaps we took for granted that the vast amount of work that happened and continues to happen can disrupt the lives of the residents for the benefit of all Canadians (economically).

It is not right that we may overlook the impact on local residents because of the enormity of the economic benefit to Canada.

It is not just in Canada that we see this scenario playing out. 

A few weeks ago, I was in meetings in Shanghai. I had never been before and was impressed with the city and the cosmopolitan feel.

But the truth is that the original residents of Shanghai have seen a city balloon to 26 million residents and have lost their views to ghetto-type subdivisions of high-rise towers.

Even if they wanted to take a break outside Shanghai, they have a three-hour drive  just to break the city limits.

Similarly, I am enroute back from West Australia having witnessed stories of similar issues that have plagued some residents there for over 50 years.

I have been to West Australia a few times, and I have many friends there, but I have not ventured north out of Perth having done my sightseeing to the south.

Had I gone north, I would have visited the Pilbara, a remote red, sandy region of the west coast.

The red sand is always is a good indicator of iron deposits and this region is world famous for it.

In fact, it is the world leader in iron-ore exports. At its prime, it was shipping almost two million tonnes of ore every day and accounting for almost half of Australia’s total GDP.

The numbers are astounding and so is the deplorable situation the local residents have to live in.

The residents, plagued by sandstorms, dust blowing through the communities and 24/7 operations, have had enough of the Bull Dust that they receive.

For 50 years, nobody has been able to solve the dust problems and as is common, the finger pointing spans 360 degrees when it turns to a discussion about responsibility.

But when one port region was shipping $160 billion of ore, you would think making a community dust free would simply be a speck on the landscape. That has clearly not been the case, but largely because a real solution has never been available.

Now, however there is hope for the residents of the Pilbara. The real life Robin Hood in this scenario is a Canadian company, NTI Nanotech International Corp.

Its unique and proprietary technology is designed to suppress dust, strengthen and build gravel roads and even mitigate environmental damage.

Representatives of NTI were in Perth last week to research and discuss solutions for the region on a trade visit.

Their technology, which has been used extensively in South America and is now being deployed in North America and beyond is being received very positively by Politicians, Communities and Corporations alike. 

Much more lies ahead for this Canadian green tech company that is working to make the planet a better place to live.


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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