The year was 1973. No sooner had Teck Resources transplanted its HQ to Vancouver than British Columbia premier W.A.C. Bennett’s 20-year reign fell to defeat at NDP hands. Resource nationalism proved to be one of new premier Dave Barrett’s earliest enthusiasms. But the guy who bragged about his commitment to doing “what was needed and right” showed a peculiar modus operandi.
That’s just one of the stories related by Norman B. Keevil in a history of Teck to be released next week, Never Rest on your Ores: Building a Mining Company, One Stone at a Time. Keevil relates that on summoning him and Bob Hallbauer into the premier’s Victoria office, Barrett’s first words were, “I want your coal.”
Interest had been growing in northeastern B.C.’s deposits, among them Teck’s Sukunka. “Well, at least he did call it our coal,” Keevil notes. “That would become questionable as the situation evolved.” The duo declined but Barrett wouldn’t give up. He kept calling them back to Victoria on an almost weekly basis.
At about the seventh such meeting, a very strange thing happened. Barrett had a curtain angled across a corner in his office. We’d never paid much attention to it, but in that seventh meeting the curtain rustled a bit, and a thin, sepulchral, white-haired professorial type jumped out from behind it.
It was almost as though he was wearing a superhero cape, or super-villain. I think Dave must have gotten him out of Marvel Comics. Was there a door to another room behind the curtain, or had this strange figure just been hiding behind it, taking it all in? I never did find out.
For the rest of this article: http://resourceclips.com/2017/09/29/new-book-reveals-tactics-of-1970s-b-c-flirtation-with-resource-nationalism/