IN THE NEWS ~ Sell 'em while they're hot

JESSICA HUME, PARLIAMENTARY BUREAU, The Edmonton Sun (Final) News, Page 45.

OTTAWA - Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver says the economic opportunities the country has now won't last forever and action needs to be taken immediately to get Canada's oil, natural gas, minerals and metals to market.

Oliver touched down in Yellowknife on Monday for talks with energy and mining premiers and territorial leaders about getting Canada's natural resources out of the ground and to foreign markets, with "nothing less than world-class environmental protection."

The feds need political support for several energy projects and Oliver has been a key government advocate,

the Keystone XL pipeline in particular.

On Monday, Oliver talked about global demand for aluminium and copper-- of which Canada has an abundance -- rising dramatically by 2025; as well as hydro-electricity, gold, uranium, oil, and liquefied natural gas and Canada's healthy supply of all of it.

"The challenge for Canada is to open up to foreign markets and supply what the world needs," he said. "We have a choice: to proceed or to procrastinate."

Oliver also mentioned a "social licence -- trust," which he said is needed of government and industry from Canadians in order for energy projects to proceed.

Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod echoed that sentiment and believes it is possible to earn that trust.

NDP natural resources critic Peter Julian takes a dimmer view. He said it is "impossible" for the federal government to earn the public's trust on energy projects. ILLUS: photo of OLIVER Resource ready