News Local

Oil Springs featured on Talk Local

By Melissa Schilz, Postmedia Network

Charlie Fairbank stands at the bull wheel in one of their six rigs. These are the powerhouses that distribute power through the jerker line to the pump jacks at each well. Photo provided.

Charlie Fairbank stands at the bull wheel in one of their six rigs. These are the powerhouses that distribute power through the jerker line to the pump jacks at each well. Photo provided.

Wednesday night’s Talk Local feature on Cogeco TV featured live interviews with Lambton County’s corporate cultural officer, Andrew Meyer, and Charlie Fairbank of Fairbank Oil.

The one-hour program discussed the bid for UNESCO World Heritage Designation, and why Oil Springs Industrial Landscape should be selected.

Pat McGee, the Oil Springs UNESCO Project Manger, said they happened to get a call to be on the program - they have been getting quite a bit of media attention as of late.

McGee said 41 sites across Canada have applied, and the last time the list opened was in 2004. It was this past August that Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced the opening, and McGee said she knew it was an opportunity they didn’t want to miss.

“We don’t really know when the next one will be, so for that reason we thought, maybe we shouldn’t wait 12 years! We need to jump on this,” she said.

Their bid is under the category of cultural landscape, and they are focusing on the aspect of the technology used. McGee said they have to prove they are the best example in the world of one particular thing.

In coming months, they will be holding several presentations across the county for people to come and ask questions. On Feb. 25, the Petrolia Heritage Committee is holding their annual open house at Victoria Hall, and McGee said they will have a portion of the council chambers where they will present and discuss their application with the public.

“We’ll be fielding questions and talking to people, and we’ll be making two presentations, one at 12 p.m. and one at 2 p.m.,” she said. “We’ll have material out for people to look at.”

They will also be holding a public session on March 13 at 6 p.m. in the lobby bar of Victoria Hall before Petrolia Council meets, as well as presenting to council that evening.

On March 23, they will be speaking at the Lambton County Heritage Society’s annual dinner in Oil Springs, and on April 7 will be at the Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery for the First Friday event in Sarnia.

“It will draw a lot of different people and we feel like we’re getting the word out,” she said.

They have a deadline of April 30 to complete the entirety of their application, and are expecting letters of support from municipalities, oil professionals, First Nations and the public.

McGee said they will have postcards made for individuals to write on in support of their UNESCO World Heritage bid; all are addressed to McKenna, and McGee will send them after the presentations have concluded.

With Oil Springs finding themselves in the spotlight, McGee said they are pleased to see how things are going.

“Things are happening at a very rapid pace,” she said.

 

Mschilz@postmedia.com