The BC government recalls the legislature this week to push forward the project agreement recently signed by the Province and Pacific Northwest LNG.
“With an agreement of historical significance like this, it is really important that we spend the time in the legislature debating it fully,” Premier Christy Clark says.
“Opponents can pick it apart and we can discuss it. It will be in the full ight of day for British Columbians to see.”
Clark’s Liberal government majority in the house virtually guarantees ratification of the Project Development Agreement, but the group known as the Resource Works Society says it’s open to debate whether the PDA is a good taxpayer deal.
Responding to criticism that it ties the hands of successive governments for the next twenty five years, Executive Director Stewart Muir says “that, in a sense, is a fair criticism.
“Just like if you take a mortgage out, you tie the hands of you, the homeowner, for 20 years . You’ve got to pay that mortgage.
“The flip side of that is you get to live in a house for 20 years. The flip side of this deal is that it creates certainty over the revenue stream that goes to government for the next 25 years,” Muir said.
The Prince Rupert area project also requires a positive outcome to the federal environmental assessment process, and a strong commitment to continued constructive engagement with impacted First Nations.
Meantime, the Globe and Mail published a story last week saying five First Nations—including two supporting the proposed project—have joined forces to assess the environmental impact of LNG exports proposed for the Prince Rupert region.
A group spokesman said it will give the five a stronger voice and Pacific Northwest President, Michael Culbert, agreed they can now speak with a collective voice when it comes to environmental stewardship.
LNG industry development is expected to result in some of the largest private-sector investments in BC history and a recently released MJM Energy Limited report suggested over the next two decades LNG could potentially overtake pipeline gas as the dominant form of international gas trade.