On Day 2 of the Canadian Chamber’s Québec Leaders Tour, the delegates got a very warm welcome in Grande Prairie, which contrasted sharply with the weather – cold with 10cm of snow.
The day began with Seven Generations Energy team members greeting everyone in the hotel lobby, and then chauffeuring participants to their nearby offices where the rest of their team was waiting. Over pastries and breakfast burritos, the Seven Generations team proceeded to explain the fracking process in detail, using topographical maps and showing rock samples.
Explanations and maps are a good starting point, but there’s nothing like seeing things up close. So everyone suited up in protective gear, got in the trucks and headed about 45 minutes outside Grande Prairie to the Seven Generations drilling pads.
The drive was also the opportunity for the Québec delegates to start asking questions to the Seven Generations team members, who helpfully answered in both languages.
Arrived on site, the delegation split into two groups to go see the different parts of the fracking process. From the actual drill well (and diamond-covered drillbit) to the pumping stations and control room, participants were walked through all the steps of the process. The helpful staff were on hand to answer any questions, even the tougher ones on environmental impacts and safety concerns.
To get the full picture of the projects Seven Generations is currently developing in the Kakwa river area, the company had arranged for delegates to take a helicopter tour of the area. A first half of the delegates took off for the 40 minute tour, but the trip for the second half of the delegates was cut short due to worsening weather. Oh well, at least those who got to go took lots of photos!
After a busy day of being out in the field and out in the cold, delegates headed back to the hotel to warm up and change. Refreshed and re-energized, the group then headed to the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum for a night of networking and discussion with community stakeholders, hosted by tour sponsor Tenaris.
The whole community turned up for this evening, allowing delegates to chat with local mayors and reeves, to ask local Indigenous community representatives about collaboration,to discuss the future of Alberta’s energy production with Minister of Energy Margaret McCuaig-Boyd and to hear from Tenaris on the national scope of their activities. By networking with local chambers and business representatives, our delegates were able to fully appreciate how important the energy sector is to the local Grande Prairie economy. The Seven Generations team was also present, allowing our delegates to follow up on some last-minute questions.
After a delicious dinner, good conversation and a quick tour of the Dinosaur Museum, delegates headed back to the hotel to rest up and prepare for the last – and busiest – day ahead.